The Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has added his voice to calls for government to suspend the construction of the controversial National Cathedral project.
Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh says the current economic crisis does not make time for vanity projects such as the Cathedral.
Expressing his disappointment with the project, Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh said the project was not a sensible one.
Contributing to a roundtable discussion organised by the Citizen’s Coalition on Thursday, December 15, he opined that it is not too late to suspend the project.
According to him, the site can be used for important projects.
“This is not the time for vanity projects but we have preserved a vanity project in the form of the cathedral, I was expecting that this being a crisis period we will reflect on that decision and say even if this is sensible to do at all and I do not think so, that it will not be the appropriate period or we will change the idea to something else, there is a lot that we can still do with that site which can make sense,” he said.
Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh added that the government missed the opportunity to restructure its priorities with the 2023 budget.
He said some irrelevant expenditures could have been done away with but did not.
“When you are in crisis, you can do exceptional things. I don’t see anything in the budget to suggest that this is a crisis and that this is being done as an emergency measure,” Professor Prempeh said.
He said the government’s focus in the 2023 budget was only to get the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to grant its loan request.
“So generally it is a missed opportunity in terms of seeing this as a crisis moment and seeing it as a moment to reset the button, I think we have not quite done that.
“It looks to me that it is purely an emergency thing targeted at the IMF to approve a loan as opposed to something that is going deep into the structure and our governance.”