The Executive Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana, Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah has called on the general public to dismiss any report that claims that the project has been suspended.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, he stated that although the construction has stalled, the project is still ongoing and they are working to secure artefacts for the National Cathedral’s museum and gardens.
“The National Cathedral is almost an institution. It’s going to be one of the largest institutions, so the work continues on a daily basis. In addition to fundraising, we are already engaging those who can give us artefacts. Because if you want to turn this into a world-class site, you need historical artefacts and those you can’t buy.”
“Most museums don’t sell these things and so you negotiate, some will give them to you as gifts or as permanent exhibitions. Those processes are ongoing on a daily basis and I’m happy to report that. In fact, our first set of religious statues for the museum and the gardens has just been shipped to us from the Abba Anointing Company in Houston, Texas,” he said.
Dr Opoku-Mensah stated that the creation of site offices, clearing the land for the project, and installation of cranes for work, purchasing and installation of tonnes of rebar and other building materials among others are all activities they have undertaken.
The idea the board took funds donated for the construction of the cathedral and just “dug a hole” is mischievous, he said.
Dr. Opoku-Mensah noted that, updates on the project including the designs of the Cathedral, the Bible Museum and the biblical gardens and reports on the Cathedral have been sent to Parliament.
The Executive Director stated that there has been no criminality in implementing the project; adding that there are two audits of the cathedral project ongoing to ensure accountability.
The audits are an investigation by CHRAJ to address issues of conflict of interest and procurement, and a financial audit by Deloitte, he said.
“So the notion somehow that we are running away from accountability is simply false. In fact, since January, CHRAJ has been involved in detailed investigations. We’ve been cooperating. The last information I saw from CHRAJ, was a questionnaire to the contractors about how they came to be selected, and they wanted all the details. So everything is being detailed.”
“There’s a detailed audit by Deloitte. The last information they wanted was even anybody who’s contributed to the National Cathedral. They wanted details. So to be sure that there’s not been any issue, we said we are committed to ensuring that the process takes the time it needs so that we will restore confidence in this project.”
Dr Opoku-Mensah stated that the board has implemented the project with integrity and accounted for every penny that they have been given by the state and donors.