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Construction works on National Cathedral suspended over lack of funds

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Construction works on the National Cathedral have been suspended. This is as a result of the unavailability of funds for the project to continue.

Executive Director of the National Cathedral Secretariat, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah who brought this to light revealed that his outfit is really cash-strapped and needs support.

“We have the contractors and their staff on site, but the work has been suspended. We are hoping that within the next couple of weeks, as part of our fundraising and other initiatives, we can begin work again,” he revealed.

Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Redeem Christian Church of God after donating to the National Cathedral, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah appealed to Christians to help fund the project.

“Our ability to complete this work keenly depends on Ghanaians supporting it. I refuse to believe that we can’t get a million Ghanaians out of the 21 million Christians to support this. I still have faith in the Ghanaians, and I am confident that we will do this.”

Government has pumped significant amounts of seed money into the project.

In March 2022, government released GH¢25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the project.

The $450 million project was envisioned by the government in March 2017 as a physical embodiment of national unity, harmony, and spirituality.

“The money might be big in terms of volume but if indeed we have 21 million Christians and a million can give us ₵100 a month for a year, we can easily complete this in time”, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah added.

President Nana Dankwa Addo Akufo-Addo has said the cost of building the National Cathedral should be borne by the Christian community.

His comments came after the controversy surrounding the funding for the project.

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has accused the Minister of Finance of breaching laws of the country by withdrawing funds from the Consolidated Fund for the construction of the national cathedral.

He accused the Minister of engaging in the act without the required parliamentary approval.

Okudzeto Ablakwa in recent months has been on a crusade to expose what he calls the rot surrounding the national cathedral project.

Government is under pressure to abort its ambition for the National Cathedral project, given the country’s economic downturn and tough times being faced by the citizenry.

The National Cathedral is expected to be completed by March 2024.

The inter-denominational cathedral will have an auditorium capable of seating 5,000 people, as well as chapels and a baptistery.

Even before the National Cathedral project is completed, the government has announced a date for the commissioning.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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Power crisis: We had a maintenance hiccup – ECG boss

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"We are experiencing major maintenance issues; the current issue has nothing to do with fuel." You rely on a power plant to generate around 360 megawatts, and at 4 p.m., the gas emergency safety valve malfunctions. What are you doing? It's a machine. "The machine failed us and we kept on saying that it's a machine issue that we were trying to fix," he said. Recognising the impact of the mechanical breakdown on the power supply, he apologised for the lack of timely contact with the public. "I must apologise to Ghanaians, when it started we should actually have the confidence to have a chat with everybody and put out a statement."

Samuel Dubik Mahama, Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has ascribed frequent power disruptions in Accra and other locations to maintenance concerns rather than fuel-related problems.

Numerous neighbourhoods have been experiencing inconsistent power supply for several weeks without prior notification from ECG.

Speaking on Starr FM on Thursday, February 29, 2024, Mr Mahama informed listeners that ECG is working hard to rectify the issues and restore electricity to the impacted areas.

According to him, the current challenges are mostly related to severe maintenance concerns, not fuel shortages.

“We are experiencing major maintenance issues; the current issue has nothing to do with fuel.” You rely on a power plant to generate around 360 megawatts, and at 4 p.m., the gas emergency safety valve malfunctions. What are you doing? It’s a machine.

“The machine failed us and we kept on saying that it’s a machine issue that we were trying to fix,” he said.

Recognising the impact of the mechanical breakdown on the power supply, he apologised for the lack of timely contact with the public.

“I must apologise to Ghanaians, when it started we should actually have the confidence to have a chat with everybody and put out a statement.”

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Over 70% of people between the ages of 15 and 49 discriminate against persons with HIV

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The survey also found that rural regions had a larger percentage of people with discriminating views (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) than urban areas (73.4% for females and 67.3% for males). "The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males)." According to the GSS research, the Ahafo area has the greatest rate of discrimination against people living with HIV (87%). The Savannah region follows at 86.8%, with the Oti region at 86.4%.

According to a Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) research, more than 70% of men and women aged 15 to 49 who are aware of HIV have discriminatory attitudes towards persons living with the virus.

These attitudes include the view that HIV-positive children should not attend school with HIV-negative children, or that they should avoid purchasing fresh vegetables from a shopkeeper living with HIV.

The GSS released these numbers on International Zero Discrimination Day, March 1, 2024, with the motto “Save lives: Decriminalise.”

The survey also found that nearly eight out of every ten females (78.4%) and seven out of every ten men (72.1%) aged 15 to 49 who are aware of HIV had discriminatory attitudes towards persons living with the infection.

“Nationally, almost eight in every 10 (78.4%) females and seven in every 10 (72.1%) males aged 15-49 who have heard about HIV have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV. The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males).”

The survey also found that rural regions had a larger percentage of people with discriminating views (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) than urban areas (73.4% for females and 67.3% for males).

“The percentage with discriminatory attitudes is higher in rural areas (85.5% for females and 78.1% for males) compared to urban (73.4% for females and 67.3% of males).”

According to the GSS research, the Ahafo area has the greatest rate of discrimination against people living with HIV (87%). The Savannah region follows at 86.8%, with the Oti region at 86.4%.

“Among females aged 15 to 49 in eight regions – Ahafo (87.0%), Savannah (86.8%), Oti (86.4), North East (85.9%), Northern (85.7%), Upper West (83.8%), Western North (84.4%) and Upper East (80.1%) – over four in five have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV.

“In comparison, three regions – North East (85.2%), Northern (83.1%) and Oti (81.5%) – have more than four in five males aged 15-49 with discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV,” GSS’s stated in its report.

The survey also emphasised that those with greater education are less likely to have discriminatory attitudes towards people with HIV than those with little education.


“Individuals with discriminating views are more than twice as likely to have no education as those with secondary education or above. Discriminatory attitudes among females aged 15–49 vary from 91.5% for those with little education, falling through elementary (89.3%), secondary (78.9%), and more than secondary (44.8%).

“Among males aged 15-49 with no education, 90.0% exhibit discriminatory attitudes, compared to 86.8% for those with primary education, 73.6% for secondary education, and 43.4% among those with secondary or more education.”

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IES predicts a slight increase in petrol, diesel, and LPG prices

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“Given the Ghana cedi’s poor performance, coupled with the rising prices of petroleum products on world fuels market, IES expects prices to increase marginally in the early days in the month of March [2024]”.

Consumers could expect more marginal rises in the price of petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the next few days, assuming no intervention, according to the Institute for Energy Security.

According to the energy research group, this is mostly attributable to the deteriorating Ghana cedi.

“Following the continual price increases recorded by all refined petroleum products under consideration on the global fuels market over the last two weeks, the local market is anticipated to follow these developments.
“Given the Ghana cedi’s poor performance, coupled with the rising prices of petroleum products on the world fuels market, IES expects prices to increase marginally in the early days in the month of March [2024]”.

World fuel market

According to the IES, the Global Standard & Poor (S&P) Platts platform tracking of refined petroleum price data issued at the end of trade on February 26, 2024, indicated diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices at $871.75, $840.43, and $599.48 per metric tonne, respectively.

The released pricing statistics for the time showed an increase in refined petroleum products under examination.

Specifically, the net price impacts revealed a 1.56%, 3.24%, and 2.92% rise in diesel, petrol, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas, respectively.

Local fuel market performance

The second pricing window of February saw petroleum product prices rise at the pumps, in accordance with local fuels market expectations.

The IES tracked the actions of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and found that liquid fuel prices increased by an average of GH¢0.45 for diesel and GH¢0.30 for petrol per litre. LPG prices increased by GH¢0.65 per kilogramme.

According to an IES examination of gasoline pricing data from the past two weeks, the national average price for petrol is GH¢12.24 per litre, while diesel is GH¢13.32.

LPG costs GH¢13.65 per kilogramme.

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