The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has revealed that it has no knowledge about the construction of the National Cathedral by Ribade Company Limited.
The PPA gave this response in reply to a request for procurement information under the Right to Information Act, by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Writing to the MP, the Authority asked the legislator to refer to the National Cathedral’s Secretariat for more information.
“Reference is made to your letter dated 4th July 2022, on the subject above. Please be informed that the Public Procurement Authority holds no information relating to the construction of the National Cathedral by Ribade Company Ltd.
You may wish to refer your enquiry to the National Cathedral Secretariat”, the letter date July 5 stated.
Reacting to this, Mr Ablakwa reiterated his displeasure with the circumstances surrounding the construction of the National Cathedral.
According to him, “even people who build for Satan do not engage in such a lawless orgy”.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Ablakwa said the denial by the PPA on the construction of the Cathedral by Ribade Company Limited affirms his long-held reservations about the Project.
In his post, he narrated as follows: “On the 4th of July, 2022, I decided to make a formal RTI request under Section 18 of Act 989 to the Public Procurement Authority to establish the procurement status regarding the construction of the National Cathedral by RIBADE Company Limited. (See copy of my request attached).
To my utter shock, the PPA’s Chief Executive, Mr. Frank Mante, responded in a 5th July, 2022 letter that it ‘holds no information relating to the construction of the National Cathedral by Ribade Company Ltd’ (See attached)”.
Mr Ablakwa continued: “It is absolutely despicable to discover the sinful levels of recklessness and lawlessness which the Akufo-Addo government is exhibiting in the construction of a massive US$400million cathedral which has already siphoned a colossal GHS200million of public funds, albeit unconstitutionally, without any regard, whatsoever, for Ghana’s procurement laws”.
Based on the response from the PPA, Mr Ablakwa therefore accused the government of engaging in procurement illegalities; adding that such activities hurt the interest of citizens.
“When procurement laws are not respected and cronies are handpicked in sweetheart deals as in this instant case, there is no value for money, Ghana is shortchanged financially and technically”, he stated.
In his venting his spleen, he further noted that, “This is yet another significant addition to the already countless cases of flagrant violation of the 1992 Constitution and other laws of Ghana, ironically in a temple project which should have edified God. Even people who build for Satan do not engage in such a lawless orgy”.
In his concluding remarks, he said, “It must not be lost on us that this Akufo-Addo government has prosecuted political opponents and succeeded in jailing some, and then serving as an elated conveyor belt in a conspiracy that removed an Electoral Commissioner from office, all for alleged procurement breaches — none of those procurement infractions measure up to this egregious transgression”.
“On judgement day, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”, his post concluded.
Meanwhile, amidst the controversies surrounding the Project, some faith-based organisations have donated a cumulative amount of GH¢2.21 million towards the construction of the National Cathedral.
In a document breaking down their contribution since 2018, the Church of Pentecost topped the list with a sum of GH¢700,000.00
The Church first donated GH¢200,000 through the Church of Pentecost Headquarters in 2018. Another contribution of GH¢500,000 was made in March 2022 by the Church of Pentecost (General Headquarters).
This was followed by the Action Chapel International which has so far contributed GH¢300,000.
Other major donors include the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Southern Ghana Union of SDA who have contributed GH¢200,000 each.
The Methodist Church Ghana, Triumphant Baptist Church-Kwadaso, Christ Apostolic Church International, and the Breaking Yoke Ministry Church have all contributed ¢100,000 each to the Project.
However, the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) and the Lighthouse Chapel International are among churches that have not contributed to the construction of the National Cathedral.
Also, the Catholic Church has not made any contribution since the donations began in 2018.
Currently, the total fundraising by the Board of Trustees towards the project has accrued ¢31.75 million since 2018.
This was disclosed by the Board when it launched another mass fundraising strategy dubbed, ‘The National Cathedral Week’ on Wednesday, June 29 in Accra.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Apostle Prof Opoku Onyinah, said the fundraising will help boost efforts at raising the required funds for the project.