January 24, 2023

Two National Cathedral Board Members Call For Audit

Archbishop Nicholas Duncan William and Rev Eastwood Anaba, two members of the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral Ghana, have called for an audit of funds and expenditures of the project.

In a memo intercepted by JoyNews, the two men of God explained that it will allow for accountability and transparency.

This comes days after the resignation letter by Bishop Dag Heward-Mills from the Board landed in the hands of Citi Fm- which cited reasons for his resignation including the costs, the design, the location, the fundraising, the mobilisation of the churches, and the role of the trustees.

 

He is quoted to have said in the letter, “I have been a reachable and available trustee and attended every single meeting of trustees since the pandemic began, in person and by zoom, and the records will show that.

 

“If I say that I, as a trustee, do not know many of the financial and technical issues concerning the Cathedral, it means the discussions about the National Cathedral were held by some people outside the trustees’ meeting or perhaps in a forum that I was not present or invited to”.

 

He is also quoted to have decried, “the National Cathedral is said to be a Government of Ghana project, with the government taking financial decisions. Yet on another hand, at meetings, it is implied that the trustees have taken or participated in taking some decisions”.

Bishop Dag also said his suggested approaches toward the construction of the Cathedral had been ignored by the Trustees.

In reaction, the Chairman of the Board, Apostle Prof Opoku Onyinah explained the National Cathedral is a partnership between the State and Church, and the roles of the state have been specified in the partnership as the appointment of the Architect, the Land, the Secretariat and Seed Money for the preparatory phase of the work.

“The architect and the Land – the site for the National Cathedral – had already been selected by the President before the appointment of the Trustees by the President. All Trustees were aware of this.

“The selection of the contractors- RIBADE- for the project, was through a rigorous international procurement process supervised by the LEAD consultant, whose contract included the selection of a contractor for approval by the Board of Trustees.”

He said the costing and selection of contractors for the project were led by the Project’s Lead Consultants as well as the technical committee officially commissioned by the Board of Trustees.

Apostle Onyinah furthered that the Trustees of which Bishop Dag was a part have deep-seated theological differences and outstanding approaches to the development of the Cathedral.

 

“The challenge of such a group is that the individual leaders, with a history of implementing their own organisational/denominational programme programs and vision, have to be part of a collective decision-making process where their preferences might not always prevail.”

That, he said, means the preferences, methods and approaches of one person cannot always be adopted.

“In this changed and unfamiliar context, some would prefer to leave the Trusteeship”, he added.

In their memo dated January 23, Archbishop Duncan William and Rev Anaba said an audit must be undertaken into funds allocated to the project and spent so far.

“That, in the spirit and cause of transparency and accountability to the Ghanaian people, the current Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral shall appoint an independent, nationally recognised accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to and spent by the National Cathedral. Auditors will also audit the overall cost of the project.”

Meanwhile, they suggested that the activities of the Board and current activities advancing the project be halted.

 

 

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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