Finance minister Ken Ofori Atta has disclosed that the government will provide the seed capital for the construction of the controversial National Cathedral.
The disclosure of Mr. Ofori Atta is in sharp contrast with government’s persistent claim that it is only facilitating and providing the land for the project, and will not make direct financial contributions.
The Source of financing of the religious edifice has been a matter of controversy in Ghana with many identifiable groups, including the Trades Union Congress (TUC) challenging the essence of the project.
However government spokespersons have been quick to note that the state is not using tax payers’ money to finance the project.
Presenting the 2019 budget in Parliament Thursday, the finance minister said: “Mr. Speaker, on March 6, 2017 – the 60th year of our independence – the President cut the sod for the construction of a National Christian Cathedral for the country that will provide the space for national events of a religious nature. A National monument, the Cathedral will house impressive chapels and baptistery, 5000-seat main auditorium, expandable to 15000 people for national events and celebrations.
It will include among others, a grand central hall, a music school, and will house Africa’s first-ever Bible Museum and documentation centre, The National Cathedral project will also bequeath to the country a gracious national park for all Ghanaians; bring new skills, technology and jobs to the country; and will act as a beacon to national, regional and international tourists.Mr Speaker, the state is facilitating this process by providing the land, the Secretariat, and seed money for the preparatory phase”.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has described the cathedral project as priority among priorities.
“People will ask if it (national cathedral) is a priority. It is a priority among priorities. We’ll never find enough money to do everything we want to do. But we have to begin, and that’s what we have started,” the President said in London in October.