Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu has published international registration documents for Ghana’s National Cathedral project.
The lawmaker, who has been an avid critic of the project alleging waste of public funds and corporate governance breaches against the project has revealed new details about the project after a trip to the United States.
In a Facebook post dated May 2, the MP revealed that he had applied for and received registration documents of the project from the relevant US authorities.
He observed that there were only three persons listed as board members, one of which is the Executive Secretary of the project Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah and two others, who until date were in no way connected publicly with the project.
Ablakwa wondered why no member of the Board of Trustees back home, some of who are eminent clergyen respected even in the United States were absent from the documentation.
He added that checks at the Washington DC address provided as offices of the project showed that they did not and had never prior operated from the said facility.
“Articles of Incorporation we have secured from the District of Columbia Government’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (corporation’s division) confirm that a nonprofit corporation has been registered known as the “National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc.” (Articles of Incorporation duly attached).
“This National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. received its Certificate of Incorporation with its effective date being May 3, 2021 and signed by Josef G. Gasimov, Superintendent of Corporations, Corporations Division. (See certificate attached).
“It is worthy of note that the name National Cathedral of Ghana and Museum Foundation, Inc. is unmistakably different from what was incorporated in Ghana some two years prior, specifically on the 18th of July, 2019 as the National Cathedral of Ghana.
“Curiously, we have also discovered that none of the prominent Ministers of the Gospel who serve as Trustees of the National Cathedral of Ghana feature in the articles of incorporation and list of governors as submitted to US authorities.
“The names of governors and authorized persons as contained in the Two-Year Report for Domestic & Foreign Filing Entity are: Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah, Eric Okyere Darko and Dr. Vernon Darko. (See Report attached).
“In US corporate terms “governor” typically refers to a member of the board of directors,” Ablakwa’s post read in part.
What Ablakwa said about the US address:
Even more shocking, we have discovered that the address provided on both the “National” Cathedral of Ghana website and to US authorities as the official address of the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. is absolutely fraudulent.
The advertised address is: National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc.
1090 Vermont AVE NW,
Washington, DC 20005.
“A personal visit to this address in Washington, DC and thorough verification from managers of the property indicate that the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. has never been a tenant at that address.
“Indeed, none of the offices of the 12-floor apartment building has ever been occupied by the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. or any agency representing this entity. The managers of the property were furious and clear that what was going on was simply criminal.”
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.