The minority in parliament have won the debate on government’s allocation of some GHS80 million to the National Cathedral in the 2023. budget.
According to the minority, government has been compelled to withdraw and reallocate the “obnoxious and dubious” GHS80million for President Akufo-Addo’s Cathedral to the Roads and Communications sectors.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, revealed that the latest update on the “infamous GHS80million Cathedral allocation” is a total removal from the final Appropriation Bill. Owing to this, he indicated that government’s 2023 expenditure is therefore reduced by GHS80million.
“… We [are] still in Parliament’s Chamber working since commencing proceedings at about 11am yesterday. Government compelled to withdraw and reallocate the obnoxious and dubious GHS80million for President Akufo-Addo’s Cathedral to the Roads and Communications sectors.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr Ablakwa noted that the minority have also successfully cut the “extravagant allocation to the notorious” Contingency Vote from GHS1.4billion to GHS533million. He described the move as some good savings for the struggling Ghanaian taxpayer.
The North Tongu legislator highlighted that the minority won this battle for “God and the suffering masses” and thanked Ghanaians for their unflinching support.
On his part, member of parliament for Ningo-Prampra, Sam Nartey Geoge, shared his excitement on the minority’s win with the debate on the GHS 80million allocated to the cathedral leading to a “reallocation to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation Ghana”.
“Hopefully, the resources get released and put to proper use by the Ministry. For God and Country!”Sam George
Budgetary allocation for national cathedral project
Prior to this, the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, denied media reports that the GH¢80 million budgetary allocation for the National Cathedral project has been totally rejected. He stated that the rejection was only at the committee level and with more numbers, the Majority in Parliament could overturn the decision.
Mr Muntaka explained that he needed to make this clarification so that his party’s supporters do not turn against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs when the plenary decision does not go in their favor.
This clarification comes after the Ranking Member on the joint committee of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, dedicated a Minority voting decision to reject the budget estimates for the building of the National Cathedral as captured in the 2023 budget statement to Ghanaians.
He revealed that the decision was a victory to all Ghanaians as previous allocations to the project were not properly accounted for.
With this, the Asawase MP indicated that the decision was not final. He expressed the need for the Minority group to have more members to win a vote on the recommendation when the committee tables its decision before the House. Nonetheless, he highlighted that his expectations of his party’s supporters must be managed so that when decisions go otherwise, the MPs will not be accused of being induced, for instance.
It will be recalled that eleven Minority MPs as against 10 Majority MPs voted to reject the GH¢80-million allocation for the continuation of the project.