Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu finds it hard to understand why government is bent on establishing the National Cathedral amidst the current economic challenges.
A letter, signed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to the Controller and Accountant’s General, directed that GH¢25 million be credited to Ribade, for part payment of outstanding claims.
“Authority is hereby granted to you to release the sum [of] GH¢25,000,000.00 as additional seed money to the National Cathedral Secretariat for the construction of the National Cathedral for part payment of outstanding claims from RIBADE Limited,” the letter added.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Citi TV, Mr. Kpebu said the cathedral is a misplaced priority.
He believes it is time for Christian leaders to declare their position on the matter.
“This Cathedral conversation is quite dicey. It is all about timing, and I do not think this is the right time to push for such a project. Indeed, we are all religious people, I am a Catholic, and so I know the essence of the church. But because we are currently hard-pressed for money as a nation, I do not think this should be the focus of the nation now.”
He believes it is time for Christian leaders, especially, to declare their position on the matter.
“It is even time for the religious leaders to assess where they stand on this matter. The Board of trustees comprises all the top Christian leaders you can find in Ghana, and yet see how the public is resisting the project. This should be a strong message to our leaders that the society is constantly evolving.”
“We could shelve the project for now and then when things are better, we could take it up. It is not as though the country is short of places of worship,” he added.
The Minority in Parliament has already filed three urgent questions to compel the Minister for Finance to provide details on how much the state has spent on the National Cathedral Project.
The National Cathedral project was proposed by the government in March 2017 as a physical embodiment of national unity, harmony, and spirituality.
The $350-million inter-denominational cathedral will have an auditorium capable of seating 5,000 people, as well as chapels, and a baptistery.
It is targeted to be completed in March 2024.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been criticised for his decision to build the National Cathedral in the face of numerous challenges facing the country.
In his defence, the President has said the construction is in fulfilment of a promise he made to God in the run-up to the 2016 election.