- Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has given another budget estimate for the national cathedral project
- The minister revealed on Sunday that the project will cost the country $350 million although just last year, the trustees of the project had quoted $200 million
- The minister himself had initially disclosed in 2019 that the total cost of the project would be $100 million
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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the total cost of constructing the National Cathedral is $350 million although a top official had previously announced $200 million.
This is the second time the total cost of putting up the controversial edifice has been changed.
In August 2021, Secretary to the Board of Trustees in charge of the National Cathedral Victor Kusi Boateng gave an estimated budget of $200 million when he spoke to Joy News.
Before that, that is in November 2019, Mr Ofori-Atta had announced that the project would cost the nation $100 million. When Mr Boateng was later explaining why the $100 million to $200 million, he explained that a plan to include a Bible Museum to Biblical gardens was what shot the cost by 100%.
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However, speaking to state-owned GTV on Sunday, June 12, 2022, the finance minister did not mention the $200 million when asked again how much the project has been estimated to cost the state.
“I think it’s meant to be about $350 million and that’s the expectation… we will be pushing for private sector mobilisation, that is Ghanaian citizens understanding the support that they must give to establish that [National Cathedral], and the government is always in the background to ensure that the process moves on,” Ofori-Atta said.
He also said the government is hoping that the project will be completed on March 6, 2024. According to him, this proposed completion date will be dependent on the outcome of the ongoing fundraising campaigns.
Leaked letter shows National Cathedral contractor has sacked staff due to lack of funds
Meanwhile, in a previous story, YEN.com.gh has reported that a letter making rounds on social media suggests that the contractor for the National Cathedral, RIBADE, has laid off some staff due to lack of payment.
The viral letter was first shared by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Ablakwa. The opposition MP added a caption to the letter that claims as many as 200 workers have been sacked. The letter, however, did not indicate that.
“Due to the lack of payment from the National Cathedral of Ghana which has resulted in the project being suspended, RIBADE COMPANY LTD is required under the contract to mitigate costs.
“In compliance with such an obligation under the contract, RIBADE COMPANY LTD has no option but to issue this letter of notice terminating the agreement between RIBADE COMPANY LTD and you as per the provisions of your employment agreement.
“This notice of termination takes effect on the 14th of March 2022 you are therefore requested to hand in all properties (i.e. safety equipment, etc) belonging to the company in your possession to the HR office by close of work of the same day,” portions of the letter sighted by YEN.com.gh reads.
The finance minister did not make any comment about this issue when he granted GTV the interview.
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