A total amount of 3.6 million Ghana cedis was used for the funeral of late President John Evans Atta Mills, in contrast to the figure of 30 million Ghana cedis that was reported in a section of the media, the Funeral Planning Committee said on Monday.
The expenditure covered hospitality for Heads of state and foreign delegations, printing of Book of Tributes, Order of Service, and Pictorial book on the former President, site preparation, painting, cost of repairs at the Independence Square, the State House and Independence Arch.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mr. Kofi Totobi Quakyi, Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee, said the amount also covered construction of special dais at Independence Square, hiring of chairs and construction of canopies, feeding, honorarium to performing artistes, floral and funeral services and cost of casket among other things.
He said out of the total funeral cost, an amount of GH?2.2million came as donations from sponsors, with the state contributing about GH?1.4 million, adding that the detailed income and expenditure account would be subjected to audit as required under the country’s financial regulations.
Mr. Totobi Quakyi said; “We had neither funds nor budgetary allocation. What we had in abundance, however, was determination, commitment, dedication and a resolve to make Ghana proud in the moment of national grief.
“The funeral Planning Committee delivered to the best of its ability but it is up to the good people of Ghana to access our performance.
“Let me reiterate that no one who served on the planning committee received a pesewa for the work we did, this was purely voluntary work in the service of Ghana”.
Mr. Quarkyi announced that the Asomdwee Memorial Park, which had been closed to the public since Monday, August 20, for completion of work, was expected to be reopened to the public in the middle of October.
He said the 40 days customary celebration, which the family of the late President in Ekumfi had proposed, would be organised on September 20, 2012, as well as the national memorial and thanksgiving service to round-off the funeral celebrations.
He expressed gratitude to President John Dramani Mahama for the trust and confidence reposed in the committee, and also thanked former Heads of State, foreign dignitaries, chiefs, the media, corporate Ghana and donors, the Police Administration, the Military High Command, the clergy, Chief Imam, Council of State, Speaker and Members of Parliament and the Chief Justice for their contribution towards the success of the funeral.
“We commend the Ghanaian public for the discipline and comportment they exhibited throughout the period of the funeral. We appreciate their patience and apologies to those who were unable to pay their last respect, even after standing in the queue for hours. When we bury the dead and do it well, we are being respectful, and when we honour the dead we do honour to ourselves.”