The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the National Cathedral project will cost over GH¢1 billion and not the $400 million earlier projected by the government.
The legislator explained that the cost of compensations, demolition, tax waivers, consultancy, coupled with other stuff needed for the construction of the National Cathedral is estimated to cost GH¢1 billion.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Ablakwa bemoaned the waste of taxpayers’ money on the project.
“The taxes are being misused, GH₵339,003,064.86 million cash withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund, but that is not all. My estimation is that billions will be used, because the cost of compensation, demolition, contracts escalations and all the tax waivers have not been added. So what’s going on here? The project will cost over GH₵1 billion and not the budgeted $400 million by the government,” the legislator emphasised.
The MP for North Tongu pointed out that the government paid a whopping GH₵28.2 million to American consultant Cary Summers to coordinate the Bible Museum and the Biblical gardens for some artifacts for the Cathedral.
This, Mr. Ablakwa asked if the country is wealthy enough to dole out this huge sum of money to Cary Summers.
“In the latest revelation I made, GH₵28.2 million has been paid to one Cary Summers who is an American consultant. What’s the correlation with the Cathedral? Did Jesus Christ pass through the United States, because of this consultancy from the US, for the National Cathedral, we just hand over GH₵28.2 million to him. Can you believe that? Jesus Christ! Are we [Ghanaians] that wealthy that we don’t know what to do with our money? Are we under some curse?” Mr. Ablakwa asked.
However, the National Cathedral Secretariat in a statement said “with regard to the amount paid to the consulting firm, Messrs Sir David Adjaye and Associates in relation to the Cathedral project, release made by the Ministry is in the total amount of GH¢113,040,564.86”.