Speaking in an interview, the finance minister said there is never a good time for such important monuments and the government will see to it that it is built.
For him, the current economic challenges should not deter the State from assuming its responsibility to build a monument that has enormous investment potential.
“Whenever these buildings were built in Europe, was it the right time? How to finance it will become the question. Is the executive aware of the current situation? We should not stifle our religiosity or our spirituality because we are poor. The Lord will understand if we put our widow mites in there,” he told state broadcaster GTV on Sunday.
He said the raging debate over financial prudence and the appropriateness of the national cathedral is wrong.
“The question being asked is, are we spending money from state coffers? Is it too much to do because we are politicizing it. Do we really want to stop it? That will be my question.
Ken Ofori-Atta, on the contrary, wants critics not to lose sight of the real benefits the national cathedral project could generate to shore up the government’s revenue target.
‘As finance minister we look at resources and how much we invest in them at every moment that is reasonable and as we speak we have spent less than a thousandth of our expenditure on this.’
“I’m very confident that I can raise revenue to be able to fund this and more importantly if I want to look at the economics of it, I really see an overwhelming capacity that it will pay off. Typically, I look at an internal rate of return, so we have to keep that in mind,” the minister added.
The government has come under intense pressure to abandon its ambition for the national cathedral project, given the country’s economic downturn and the difficult times facing citizens.
This was after it emerged that the government had recently released GH¢25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional start-up capital for the project.