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‘This is certainly not a broke IMF bailout country’ – Ablakwa on Cathedral’s US$100m steel import bill

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has reacted to a news report that the National Cathedral will need about US$100 million to import steel for works on the project.

“This is certainly not a broke IMF bailout country,” Ablakwa captioned a social media post of May 29, which post was accompanied by a screenshot of a GhanaWeb story with the headline: “National Cathedral: We need $100 million to import steel – Dr. Opoku Mensah.”

Ablakwa’s reference to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is connected to the recent release of a US$600 tranche of a US$3 billion bailout from the global lender to Ghana.

Ghana applied last year for the programme amid economic shocks, securing a staff-level agreement late 2022 before achieving Board approval weeks ago.

What Dr. Opoku Mensah said about Cathedral project:

Dr. Paul Opoku Mensah, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana, justified the expenditure that has so far been incurred in the construction of the cathedral in an interview with Accra-based Okay FM last week.

He explained that some Ghanaians are describing the project as the world’s most expensive pit because they don’t know the nature of work that has gone into it.

He explained that two floors have already been constructed underground and the only major work that has to be done is the placement of a steel structure.

He added that the construction of the cathedral has now stalled because the steel structure will cost $100 million which has not been raised yet.

“After finishing the foundation, we need money that we will use to import all the steel we need. The steel component of the cathedral will be built before it is brought into the country for us to fix.

“After fixing it, we will be left with the concrete and marble cladding and some few works. So, this is why there is a setback in the construction of the cathedral.

“We need about $100 to import the steel. The cathedral is not a small building. It will be a structure, we have never seen in Ghana before,” he said in Twi.





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