July 20, 2024
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National Cathedral: Release the full value for money audit report – Minority to government

The Minority in Parliament is asking the government to release the full value for money audit report that was allegedly conducted on the national cathedral project.

This follows the revelation by the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Abena Osei Asare that the government conducted a value-for-money audit before releasing funds for the stalled national cathedral project.

According to the Minister, who was responding to questions on the floor of the House, some 339 million Ghana cedis have been released for the project which is still at the foundation level.

The total releases made for the National Cathedral by the government to date remain at GH¢339 million. This figure comprises GH¢225 million paid to the National Cathedral Secretariat, and GH¢113 million paid directly to the project consultant.

There was a value-for-money audit done on the project in 2021. Also, a statutory audit of the National Cathedral of Ghana accounts by Deloitte Ghana was started in July 2023 and is ongoing.

Auditors had concluded the audit of the 18-month account ended December 31, 2020. Meanwhile, preparations are in place for the auditors to complete the remaining accounts for the periods December 31, 2021, 2022 and 2023, she explained.

But Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is demanding the audit report. According to the outspoken legislator, the full report must be released if it is true that such an exercise was conducted.

All these claims that they have a value for money report, if that report exists what you do is that you bring that report to the house so that we can peruse the document. It wasn’t brought to us.

We are demanding for those documents. What we are also calling for is a probe. This national cathedral project has opened a can of worms from inflation pricing, procurement breaches, constitutional violations, conflict of interest, double identity, and demolition of properties; it is a whole mess that one parliamentary question cannot resolve.

What we need is a full-scale parliamentary enquiry to go into the entire project, he stressed.

Since the commencement of the National Cathedral project in 2020, there have been numerous controversies and scandals highlighted by the opposition National Democratic Congress.

Its construction has also sparked debates across various sectors of society, with many questioning the necessity and timing of the structure as well as the lack of transparency when it comes to the management of the funds allocated for its building.

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