Churches must bail gov’t out of economic crisis -NPP guru

Amid the several criticisms of the government for its intention to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after hitting the wall with its domestic economic recovery plan, a stalwart of the ruling government has recommended that churches must intervene to provide relief.

The proponent says the churches must immediately sacrifice silver collections (offerings) over six months towards this cause, to enable the government avoid going to the IMF.

Mr. Patrick Adu-Gyamfi, the former Bekwai New Patriotic Party (NPP) Constituency Chairman, said in the face of the low yield from the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy), churches had the obligation to intervene and provide the required bailout to the government, and the country as a whole.

Last week Friday, President Akufo-Addo announced that he had instructed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to open negotiations for a programme, after admitting the nation was currently in an economic crisis, thus reneging on its pledge not to borrow from the IMF. “The engagements with the IMF will seek to provide balance of payment as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of  challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia-Ukraine crises,” a government statement said.

Until July 1, 2022, the government had settled for a home grown economic recovery plan that included the introduction of a 1.5% tax on electronic financial transactions (E-levy) and therefore ruled out the option of an IMF programme. But the former constituency chairman says the various churches with the large following can give meaning to the Ghana beyond aid mantra locally if they voluntarily contribute and raise a bailout.

He condemned the spate of criticisms by sections of the Ghanaian populace without proffering any solution to the said economic crisis and hoped the government and the leadership of local churches would capitalize on the opportunity provided by the recommendation for all churches (orthodox, Pentecostal and charismatic) to join national efforts to better the lot of Ghanaians.

Mr. Adu-Gyamfi mentioned the big churches like The Church of Pentecost, the Catholic Church of Ghana, the Presbyterian Church Ghana, the Methodist Church Ghana, the Christ Apostolic Church, the Assemblies of God, Deeper Christian Life Ministry and the International Central Gospel Church, among other various churches including one man churches.

The former NPP constituency chairman also said it is incumbent on the churches to champion the crusade and public education on e-levy to enable the government to effectively implement the E-levy to achieve the initial projections and give us the required bailout from the economic crisis and avoid the trappings of the IMF conditionalties.

Before the implementation of the e-levy, the government revised its projection down to GH¢4.5 billion following a 1.5% reduction due to the apprehension towards the levy by Ghanaians, which situation, Chairman Adu-Gyamfi said, the churches involvement in the education of its members would contribute to e-levy’s implementation to pick up from the slow start.

According to him, the various exemptions provided by the government were boosters to the usage of electronic transactions and urged the public to look at the convenience provided by digital transactions and embrace the e-levy as their contribution to nation.

He said this is the time the churches must demonstrate their concern and care for society and reciprocate government’s efforts and gesture of assisting churches over the years. The former NPP executive suggested that the churches should, as a matter of urgency, convene a conference to map out modalities to contribute to this special fund from their Social Services programmes.

Chairman Adu-Gyamfi said since the basic function of the church is to be involved in every facet of human life, the time to serve the needs of the people where the government seems to be found wanting is now.

“Now is the time for leadership of churches and churches to constitute themselves as “saviour” of mankind under the Social Service function of the church,” the former chairman suggested.

He has also recommended that the government meets the leadership of churches in the country to fashion out the best way to go about this recommendation to provide the required relief to Ghanaians.

According to Chairman Adu-Gyamfi, a swift intervention by the churches would also help to improve the social and living conditions of the people in line with the Christian principles.


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