Cathedral project halted to allow rethink of funding module – CEO



The Ghana National Cathedral project was halted early this year with the secretariat admitting months back that it was a result of funding challenges.

Paul Opoku-Mensah, the Chief Executive Officer of the project has given further particular as to the state of affairs, stressing that the Board was working on developing a better fundraising module going forward.

In an interview late last week on pro-government Asaase Radio, he submitted, “We have stalled the work to say let’s begin to rethink the fundraising because the fundraising was located within a voluntary framework. So what we have done is to provide a dedicated personal infrastructure.”

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According to him, the services of a fundraiser have been secured whiles a team is also working on a technology platform to support the efforts.

“So we have brought in a professional fund-raiser, and then we are saying that we also needed to develop a robust technology platform for our fundraising … our model must be built on mass mobilization and what we are advocating for is a million people giving us GHC100,” he said.

“But also intergrade a donor management system,…the platform we had was just for contribution, but there was no way of engaging you, so we have now engaged a local technology firm, which is now developing that robust platform.”

Current status of the National Cathedral project

The project has recently been mired in a raft of controversies among others alleged corruption relating to payments made to the architect and issues of Parliamentary breaches and corporate governance issues.

North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who has been at the forefront of the exposure insists that the government has committed public funds of over 200 million cedis to the project.

President Akufo-Addo recently told a gathering that the facility will be built at all costs.

“We will build the National Cathedral by all means. We will finish the construction before I will say what I have to say about it,” President Akufo-Addo assured as he received cheers from the church congregation.

While not indicateon how the stalled project will be facilitated, the President in his remarks seemed unhinged despite the public outcry over the funds involved for the project which is estimated to cost about US$100 million.

In May this year, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that an amount of US$25 million had been released to enable the project consultants to undertake certain aspects of the construction.

According to the minister, the amount which was tagged as “seed money” was paid in November 2020 to the project consultants.

Meanwhile, the recently published 2021 Auditor-General’s report discovered that a total of GH¢142,762,500 from the national coffers was spent on the Ghana National Cathedral project in 2021.

The particular expenditure was however captured under the government’s prioritprogramses and interventions for the year under review.

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