By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Revd Dr Manoso Ndagoso, has said government should emulate church in executing projects with minimal cost.
Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Rev. Father Anthony Ekelechi, who disclosed this in an interview in Kaduna, said the eye-popping new Catholic Secretariat building located opposite Kaduna State University’s main entrance at Tafawa Balewa Way, was built for N280 million through direct labour.
Commissioned in December, 2017, the Social Communications Director, popularly addressed as Father Anthony, explained that “And because we took it upon ourselves, the Archbishop, Most Revd Dr Matthew Manoso Ndagoso, took it upon himself and made sure he completed the project.
“We went the way of ‘direct labor’ and, at the end of it all, the project cost nothing more than N300 million – N280 million to be precise. Maybe, it’s something he has caused government to learn from.
“Most times people execute projects, the funds committed to it are so mind-bulging; and so, the Archbishop said government can emulate us,” Ekelechi said.
He also gave an insight on how the money was sourced, adding that “There were some good spirited individuals and groups that supported the building. But, according to the Archbishop, about 80% of the income used for the building of the secretariat was generated internally.
“Many times he went for cathedraltic homes – that’s the day that the blessful show their love, solidarity and support to Archbishop. And many times you see them doing it by way of monitory contributions; and he was able to manage it well, and that is why we have what we have today.
“The current Archbishop, Ndagoso, is the one, who initiated the secretariat project, about the first year he came. He saw the need for a better secretariat for better coordination of the administrative activities of the Archdiocese. He said it will be nice for us to have something like this, and he then started therefore, and gradually, we have been moving.
“The idea is that there will be proper monitoring of activities in the Archdiocese; when we are under one roof, it makes it better and easier,” he added.
According to him, “The sense behind the building of a new secretariat is evangelization. It is to say that we have presence of church here, and is a symbol for us. Anybody passing by will have questions in his or her mind.
“The name of the secretariat is Archbishop John McCarthy Catholic Secretariat, being the first Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna. So, it’s really symbolic. And everything boils down; it’s a place for the church, which is Christ. And as it’s a place for church, we have rooms that we can actually rent out to people to do their businesses.”