Leaked Document Shows Ofori-Atta Ordered Release Of GH¢25M For Cathedral Project Without Parliament’s Approval
- Ken Ofori-Atta has come under public scrutiny after a leaked letter shows he ordered the Controller and Accountant General to release funds without Parliament's approval
- The finance minister asked for the release of GH¢25 million to pay contractors of the National Cathedral project
- The Minority in Parliament say the directive to release the millions was unlawful and a misplaced priority
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A leaked memo from Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to the Controller and Accountant-General shows he ordered the release of GH¢25 million for the National Cathedral project without Parliament’s approval.
The leaked document is dated March 31, 2022, and sought to explain that the release of the funds would be to pay part of outstanding claims from a contractor, RIBADE Limited. The document has since been trending online.
The Minority has described the order from the minister as a major breach of the law. The opposition MPs insist Parliament had not given the green light for such a spending. The opposition lawmakers say the GH¢25 million was not even contained in the 2022 budget Mr Ofori-Atta presented to the Legislature last year.
Taking to Facebook, Minority MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said apart from evading Parliament, the finance minister also demonstrated lack of priority in spending tax money.
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“Shockingly, this is the same government claiming lack of funds to pay NABCo trainees, School feeding caterers, service personnel, the 3-year no-textbooks-syndrome, etc.
“This gross lack of priority cannot be pleasing to the compassionate God we all serve,” he posted on Facebook on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
He revealed that Parliament would be demanding “urgent answers” from the finance minister in the coming days.
The National Cathedral project is President Nana Akufo-Addo’s pledge to build a lasting monument to God for bringing him to power in 2016.
When completed, it will be a magnificent edifice in the heart of Accra that would serve different Christian denominations.
President Akufo-Addo has also said he is determined to lead the efforts to complete the project to fulfill of his pledge to God.
"As I indicated on 6th March 2017, upon completion, the National Cathedral is certainly going to be one of the iconic structures of the African Continent," President Akufo-Addo said in 2020.
However, when funding issues for the projected cropped up, the government explained that it would not be built with taxpayers money but with donations and voluntary contributions of private citizens and organisations.
GRA, Finance Ministry Score High On IMANI Africa’s 2020 Fiscal Recklessness Index
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in a previous story that think tank IMANI Centre for Policy and Education has released its latest Fiscal Recklessness Index (FRI), showing the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Finance Ministry wasted state money the most in five years.
The FRI measures the extent of fiscal discipline or otherwise of public institutions using the Auditor-General’s report.
The index covered the periods between 2015 to 2020 and found that notable public institutions wasted a total of GH¢13.9 billion in financial irregularities covering procurement, cash, tax, payroll, rent, and contract irregularities.
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