‘I Have Not Taken Money From Contingency Fund For National Cathedral’- Ofori-Atta to C’ttee
The embattled Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said that he has not taken money from the contingency fund for the construction of the National Cathedral.
He made this statement while addressing the case of unconstitutional withdrawals from the consolidated fund towards the building of the national cathedral when he appeared before a censure committee of Parliament today, Friday, November 18.
“Honourable Co-Chairs, three days ago, when the proponents were here, they alleged that I’d made payments from the contingency funds to support the national cathedral. I want to state that this is just not true. Let me be categoric; I’ve taken no money from the contingency funds to make payments for the national cathedral,” he stated.
Mr Ofori-Atta also stated that the proponents of the censure motion had confused the contingency fund with the contingency vote.
He told the eight-member ad hoc committee investigating the allegations made against him by the Minority that funds for the national cathedral construction were from the contingency vote and not the contingency fund.
“Expenditures in respect of the National Cathedral were made from the Contingency Vote under the “Other Government Obligations” vote as has been the practice before my tenure (I have copies of several payments from the Contingency Vote dating back to 2015 to share). Hon. Co-Chairs, as Finance Minister, I am fully aware of the approval procedures for use of the Contingency Fund and have not breached its requirement.
“The National Cathedral is 100% owned by the State and is not the President’s Cathedral as described by the Proponents. Indeed, the Attorney General issued an opinion on January 6, 2022, that the National Cathedral is a state-owned company limited by guarantee under the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board.
“Hon. Co-Chairs, the policy direction and updates on the National Cathedral have been publicly presented over the years through the National Budget Statement, and Economic Policy presented to Parliament,” he explained.
The Minority had provided seven grounds based on which they argued that the sector minister was not fit to continue in his role as the manager of the economy, but the committee dropped two out of the seven charges against him.
The Minority explained that the decision was based on the “alarming incompetence resulting in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy” and some ethical breaches.