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HomeNewsTourism minister-designate seeks Parliamentary support for completion of National Cathedral

Tourism minister-designate seeks Parliamentary support for completion of National Cathedral

The Minister Designate for Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer is seeking parliamentary backing to complete the National Cathedral project, which has encountered significant contention.

The cathedral which was originally scheduled for completion by March 2024, has encountered setbacks.

During his vetting by Parliament’s Appointments Committee on March 5, 2024, Mr. Egyapa Mercer mentioned the project’s potential to substantially boost the country’s economic development.

Expressing his readiness to collaborate with Parliament for the cathedral’s completion, contingent on his confirmation, the Minister-designate highlighted Parliament’s crucial role in ensuring the project’s conclusion.

He said: “Unfortunately, I do not know the details of the financing positions of today. But it’s obvious, I believe to all of us that the private contributions that were expected weren’t as forthcoming. I recall that in the 2023 budget, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta requested some public funds to enable us to move the project to its conclusion, which was resisted by the House.

“But I will entreat [Parliament] to support the project because obviously some funding has gone in there. We cannot allow it to sit the way it’s sitting. And so, if I’m given the nod, I believe that if I have an opportunity to make a presentation to you [parliament]. I will urge the support of all, especially our colleagues on the minority side to support the completion of the project.

“I believe it will be a huge income generation for our country and will help in attracting visitors. If I have to present a budget for parliament for consideration, yes.”

He noted the cessation of funds and underscored the urgency to finalize the project to attract visitors.

“I genuinely believe that the National Cathedral was well-intentioned. His Excellency the President took a stance that it was imperative for the state and private faith-based organizations to collaborate. Hence, the state required certain contributions. The expectation was that faith-based organizations would also contribute to ensure the facility’s completion.”

Among others set to appear are Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Minister-designate for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources; Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, Minister-designate for the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development; Ophelia Mensah Hayford, Minister-designate for the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation; and Darkoa Newman, Minister-designate for the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.