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National Cathedral Secretariat Says ₵2.6M To JNS Not Illegal Payment

The Executive Director of National Cathedral Ghana, Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah has stated that the GHc2.6 million transferred to JNS Talent Centre Limited- a company Co-owned by the Executive Council Member of the Board of Trustees, Rev Kusi Boateng- was legal.

In a press statement, the Secretariat explained that the payment was a refund of a loan given by the company to Secretariat for the payment of contractors in 2021.

In an attached letter to the press statement dated August 26 and addressed to the Director of JNS, Dr Opoku-Mensah sought for a loan of GHC2.6 million which he said had been necessitated by delayed payment by the Controllers and Accountant General Department.

“The Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral is to make payment to the contractors of the National Cathedral project which is overdue. Payments have delayed at the Controllers and Accountant General Department.

“We, therefore, seek financial assistance of 2.6 million cedis (Two million and Six Hundred thousand cedis, only) from JNS Talent Centre Limited as a top up of our balance which we are expecting to be credited into our account by 15th of September 2021, at the very latest.

“This loan request has become necessary due to the urgency to advance the second payment for the next phase of the work on the National Cathedral. The loan will be refunded as soon as we receive payments allocated from the Controllers and Accountants department office”, the attached letter reads.

Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in a statement questioned the legality of the payment and pointed accusing fingers at the company- which operates a crèche located in Dawhenya- and the directors of the Cathedral.

“We have discovered a shocking diversion of an impressive GHS2.6 million of tax funds to a company known as JNS Talent Centre Limited”, he said and added, “It remains a mystery what kind of services JNS Talent Centre Limited provided to the National Cathedral Secretariat to pocket a cool GHS2.6 million.”

Dr Opoku-Mensah in the press statement said, “this was not an illegal payment but rather a refund of a short-term interest-free loan made by JNS to top up the payments to the contractors of the National Cathedral.”

He said the loan was paid into the National Cathedral account on August 27, 2021, and then refunded on September 8, 2021.

He added, “As we have stressed, consistently, a project of this nature that significantly raises the issues of faith and national development will always have its discontents, malcontents, as well as those who would use lies, and reckless populist statements to give the impression of wanting accountability. In our vibrant democracy, this is to be expected”.

Ablakwa in reaction to the response called it a “cock and bull story”.

“Cock and bull story about a personal loan from shonky Kwabena Adu Gyamfi/Victor Kusi Boateng; when the Secretariat’s own documents to parliament refer to the payment to JNS as being for “Contractors Mobilization” and not a loan refund.”

He queried, “Where is the Board resolution authorizing the contracting of the loan? Where are the minutes of the board meeting? Where is the loan agreement? I know on authority all these do not exist.”

Source: Fuseini

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