North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu has once again alleged that Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta released an amount of GH¢142 million for the construction of the National Cathedral in 2020.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the release was for “planned activities” of the project.
According to him, the said release was upon the request of the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Madam Frema Osei Opare.
In a social media post on Wednesday, June 8, the lawmaker said so far GH¢200 illegal funds have been released to the project.
“On October 29, 2020; Ken Ofori-Atta on the request of Prez Akufo-Addo’s Chief of Staff, authorized the release of a gargantuan GHS142.7million for national cathedral ‘planned activities’”
“GHS200million of unconstitutional releases so far.”
The outspoken lawmaker has been on crusade against the release of unbudgeted funds for the project.
In fact, he had earlier claimed that the government released an amount of GH¢32 million to Sir David Adjaye & Associates Limited in 2021.
An allegation, the Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah has justified.
He said the amount was paid from the Office of the President’s budget.
As a result, he said the payment was legal.
“Even though it may not be captured as a budget item because it is not under any specific MDA, it can form part of government expenditure as long as we have captured it in the budget that we were going to provide seed funding,” he said.
Recent issues with the project
The project, over the last few days, has been a subject of controversy following the release of GHC25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the project from the government.
The release led to disagreements between the Minority Caucus in Parliament and the government.
Whereas the Minority insisted that the release is not budgeted for, the government says otherwise.