According to him, he will not be deterred by the naysayers adding that he will do everything within his power to ensure the completion of the project.
He made this known at a prayer service at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, and said “I am determined, come what may, I have two more years, that whatever the case, the National Cathedral will be at a very advanced stage before I leave office. I think it is important that we do it.”
But Okudzeto downplayed the possibility of his determination to complete the National Cathedral project.
In an interview on Accra-based Citi FM, he said “Is this the time to do this, we are rushing to do this in four years, we are making history and it is the wrong history. The Washington national cathedral was built within 82 years. The Milan cathedral was more than 500 years. The Italians took their time, in periods of drought and economic hardship they took their time.
“This month is 10 months since the contractors left the site so when I hear the president screaming that we will build it, it is laughable, anybody familiar with this project knows that it is not possible,” he added.
Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency, accused Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of breaching laws by withdrawing funds from the Consolidated Fund for the construction of the national cathedral.
He indicated that Ofori-Atta engaged in the act without the required parliamentary approval.
The Finance Minister was accused of “unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in blatant contravention of Article 78 of the 1992 Constitution, supposedly for the construction of the President’s Cathedral,” thus demanding his removal from office.
But Ofori-Atta has insisted that he breached no law in releasing funds for the national cathedral project.
He also denied claims by the proponents of the motion that he made an unconstitutional withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund to fund the project.
In an earlier statement, Ofori-Atta announced that GH¢339m has been spent so far on the cathedral project.
Also, the Finance Ministry, in a document submitted to the ad hoc committee that recently investigated Ken Ofori-Atta on seven allegations over which a censure motion has been filed against him, noted that a total amount of GH¢113,040,654.86 has been paid to Messers Sir David Adjaye and Associates, the consulting firm working on the cathedral.
Per the document, the government of Ghana’s contribution to the cathedral project was GH¢25 million paid in March 2022.