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Ofori-Atta denies taking money from Consolidated Fund for National Cathedral project

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has denied taking money from the Consolidated Fund to finance the National Cathedral project.

According to him, the said claims are false.

This was in response to the Minority’s allegation that the Finance Minister released GHC25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the project without Parliament’s approval.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said this on Friday when he appeared before the 8-member Ad-hoc Committee probing the Minority’s motion of censure against him.

The Finance Minister stressed that he did not breach any laws with regard to payments for the project.

“I have taken no money from the Contingency Fund to make payments for the National Cathedral,” he clarified.

He explained that there is a difference between the Contingency Fund and the Contingency Vault, adding that the proponents of the censure motion against him might have confused the two terms.

“The Contingency Fund the proponents referred to is what is covered under the Constitution, specifically, under Article 177. This constitutes money voted by Parliament and advances from this must be authorised by the Parliamentary Finance Committee. The Contingency Vault on the other hand is a line under the other government obligation vault, which is approved by the Finance Committee and passed as part of the annual Appropriation Act passed by Parliament,” he explained.

He added that monies that have been disbursed for use for the project were from the Contingency Vault. 

According to him, this practice is not new as was done by the previous Mahama-led administration. 

“Expenditures in respect of the National Cathedral were made from the Contingency Vault under the other government obligations volt as has been the practice before my tenure. 

Mr. Ofori-Atta said he has in his possession several pieces of evidence to prove his claim. 

“I have several copies of payments from the Contingency Vault dating back to 2015 to share. 

“Honourable co-chairs, as Finance Minister I am fully aware of the approval procedures for use of the Contingency Funds and I have not breached its requirements,” he added. 

He further stated that the National Cathedral project belongs to the state and not President Akufo-Addo.

“National Cathedral is 100 percent owned by the state and is not the President’s cathedral as described by the proponents,” he said.

He said Ghanaians will enjoy the full benefits of the project and not the President. 

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