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National Cathedral: Only $22.07m out of $58.14m has gone into actual construction – Ablakwa

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Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has expressed shock at how government has so far expended the funds allocated towards the controversial national cathedral project.

The MP, who has been on a crusade to expose everything that is wrong with the project, has in his latest Facebook post revealed that, only US$22.07 million of public funds went to the contractors, RIBADE JV, for actual construction out of over $58 million dollars allocated to the project.

Already, government has been criticized for spending huge sums of the allocated funds towards the cathedral on consultancy services and other things.

“Ghanaians will be shocked to discover this morning that out of the US$58.14million of public funds unconstitutionally withdrawn without parliamentary approval for Akufo-Addo’s cathedral project, only a fraction of US$22.07 million went to the contractors, RIBADE JV for actual construction,” he said.

This, according to him, was brought to the bare when the contractors furnished parliament with details of how the US$ 58.14 million fund was spent on the project.

Mr Ablakwa said the document submitted provided a “comprehensive analysis of how they [RIBADE JV] utilized the US$22.07 million received between January 2021 and February 2022 when they had to suspend work for “lack of funds” even though far more money had been released from government coffers, albeit on the blindside of Parliament.

He added that “This really means that out of the US$ 58.14 million of taxpayer funds wrongfully released for Akufo-Addo’s cathedral, more than US$ 36 million was expended on other items other than their core function of construction.

“We now know that only a paltry 37.9% of total public funds released was handed over to the contractors.”

The legislator, however, noted that concerns have been raised about how RIBADE JV utilised the US$ 22.07 million.

As a result, he questioned whether the $100 million demanded by the government to import steel for the project will be used appropriately.

“In any case, per their own sordid track record, there is no guarantee that if they are ever given US$ 100 million, all that money will be used for its advertised purpose.”

The National Cathedral Secretariat has constantly insisted that there hasn’t been any wrongdoing or any acts of corruption in the execution of the project.

It recently engaged renowned auditing firm, Deloitte, to audit its books for the purposes of transparency and accountability.

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