The nominee for Tourism Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer has pledged his commitment to advocating for funding to ensure the completion of the National Cathedral project in Ghana.

He made this statement during his appearance before the Appointments Committee on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

Mr. Mercer, who previously served as Deputy Energy Minister before being reassigned in President Akufo-Addo’s recent ministerial shake-up, emphasized the importance of completing the National Cathedral.

He expressed concern over the current state of the project, sarcastically dubbed ‘the world’s most expensive hole’ by critics, stressing the need for it to be finished as it is a national asset.

During his vetting, Mr. Mercer addressed the issue of resource allocation, acknowledging that resources are not unlimited but affirming his belief that funding should be prioritised for the completion of the National Cathedral. He indicated his willingness to request parliament to consider and approve a budget specifically for this purpose.

“It is our national asset that is in that state. It has to be completed, to my mind. So if you want a definitive answer that if I have the opportunity to request parliament to consider and approve a budget for the completion of the National Cathedral, then yes,” Mr. Mercer stated during his vetting.

The National Cathedral project, initiated by the government, has been a subject of debate and controversy due to its cost and use of state resources.

In December 2023, former Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta suggested a reevaluation of discussions on the National Cathedral’s construction, emphasising its potential to drive economic growth.

Speaking at the Ghana Tourism Investment Summit 2023, at the Labadi Beach Hotel, he said the edifice was a strategic investment to boost the nation’s tourism sector.

He explained that the cathedral could easily become a pilgrimage destination for millions of Christians across Africa, attracting visitors who could spend an average of $3,000 each.

This, he believed, could result in substantial economic benefits for Ghana.

“As we look at something like the Cathedral that has economic benefits beyond what we see…In Africa, we have some 600 million people who are Christians so imagine Ghana as the new Jerusalem and these 600 million people floating through with $3,000 to spend, it is a very different reality.”

Ofori-Atta urged a more constructive approach to the ongoing debates and controversies surrounding the cathedral project.

He suggested that the government carefully consider the cathedral’s potential contribution to Ghana’s economic development.

“Even as we contend with it and fight about it, let’s think of this triangle and find a reason why we should also add that as part of the infrastructure base as we build a society with a strong, resilient, and robust future,” he urged.


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