Parliament suspends approval of ₵80m for National Cathedral

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The approval of GH80 million set aside for the National Cathedral’s building has been suspended by the Trades and Industry Committee of Parliament.

The Committee did not approve the allocation, which was given to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), because the members demanded further information from the minister responsible for the industry.

The National Cathedral funding would not be included in the Ministry’s estimates until the Committee is satisfied, according to Tamale Central MP Murtala Mohammed, who revealed this to media.

“What the Committee decided was that we cannot just approve this GH₵80 million, we must know how the other GH₵339 million was spent. What did it constitute?

“The GH₵80 million you want us to approve, how did it find space in the budget line of the Ministry of Tourism when the Minister and the directors could not speak to the questions we were asking? What constitutes the GH₵80 million, they should give us a breakdown,” he disclosed in an interview with JoyNews’ Parliamentary Affairs Correspondent, Kwaku Asante on Tuesday, December 13.

The MP said the Committee has invited the Finance Minister and other stakeholders to provide an explanation on the already expended GH₵339 million on the National Cathedral.

“Those who expended the money we are inviting them, we are inviting the Secretariat to come and explain, the Minister for Finance to come and explain to us how they spent those monies. If not, it will be unconscionable if we will go ahead to approve this,” he declared.

The Finance Minister’s proposed appropriation bill for the 2023 budget, which contained the GH80 million appropriation for the National Cathedral, has not yet been approved by Parliament.

Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed also asserted that the Minister and Ministry technocrats were not informed of the allocation, which the Presidency allegedly pushed on the Ministry.

He said that the technocrats from the MoT were unable to give the Committee a breakdown of the appropriation.

“Is it the case that it was imposed on the Minister and the Ministry from the flagstaff House? I get the sense that is what happened, because if it was not imposed on the Minister, the Directors and the Chief Directors who were all there, they should have been able to provide us with the answers, they could not do that so it is ridiculous,” he concluded.

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