Contrary to popular impression, Rev Ameyaw Ebenezer Saka, the head of the Church Relations with the National Cathedral project claims the controversial project will cost more than US$100 million.
“On the onset before the Biblical Garden and the Bible Museum, it was pegged at a hundred million dollars, now that it has been added it will be a bit higher. I can’t tell you exactly but it will be a bit higher than the hundred million dollars,” Rev. Saka said in an interview with the First Take on 3FM on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Last Friday, the Akufo Addo administration through Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had been forced to ask Ghanaians to help raise the funds need to construct the US$ 100 million cathedral after several failed fundraising attempts in the past three years.
This is after the government had pumped some US$20 million and destroyed public properties worth another US$20 million to make way for the contentious cathedral.
“The requested voluntary contributions are very important because we want to have the ordinary Ghanaian to own this project, ordinary Christian to own this project so your contributions come in to help facilitate the project,” says Rev. Saka.
Meanwhile, the announcement for contributions from Ghanaians to build the cathedral has sparked massive public outrage.
Celebrities, economists, political critics, civil society organisations and the general public have slammed the misplaced priority of the Akufo Addo administration to extract GHC 100 monthly from one million Ghanaians.
Social media and all electronic media outlets are awash with harsh expletives aimed at the Akufo Addo administration when the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the reading of the mid-year budget presentation announced the Mafia-like plan to ask Ghanaians to do the monthly donation.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Cathedral is expected to be commissioned on March 6, 2024, adding that “this state and church partnership envisaged by the president to develop the National Cathedral is on course. An initiative; the GHC100 a month also dubbed “Ketoa Biaa Nsua” will be launched by the trustees of the National Cathedral on August 12, 2021, to give as many Ghanaians as possible the opportunity to be part of the history of the National Cathedral.”
Renowned Actress, Lydia Forson took to social media to slam the misplaced priority of the government, asking why the government is not asking for donations to build critical social infrastructure “Did I just hear that our government wants us to do ‘susu’ for a cathedral THEY wanted and not us??!! Not susu for hospitals oh…Not susu for roads killing people every day…Not susu for students learning under trees oh…SUSU FOR A CATHEDRAL!!” she posted on Twitter.
Professor John Gatsi, an economics lecturer at the University of Cape Coast also weighed in saying, “Don’t worry yourself about contributing GHS100 to support the construction of a Cathedral, it is not a deeper national need. It is rather the time Ghanaians should contribute to support small family business initiatives.”
According to Gatsi, the priority of Ghanaians especially the youth is to be productive and any efforts by Ghanaians to organize micro and small seed capital for young people will be a rewarding social investment.
Former Ambassador, prolific writer and Editor of Accra Daily Mail, Amb. Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah has described the National Cathedral project as treasonable against the people of Ghana.
“Not just the arrogance but the impunity of behaving as though Ghana belonged to them. Or else how could they indulge this inordinate proselytizing of, and bigoted attempt at imposing their faith on all of us? With an “appeal” for us to contribute to the construction of their “national” cathedral….” Haruna Atta fired.
“The politicians pushing through this agenda are undermining the constitution and those “men and women of God lining up behind it are abetting illegality and the judges who threw the challenge out were wrong in that decision! By their actions, they are building a quiet, but formidable resentful army of citizens that will strike back at them for their contemptuous behaviour towards the people of Ghana.”