Fix the economy – Presby Church
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has charged the government to put the necessary strategies in place to fix the challenges facing the national economy.
It advised the government not to wait until 2016, an election year, before making efforts to address those challenges.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued by the church at the end of its 15th General Assembly held at Abetifi- Kwahu from August 14 to 20, 2015.
The communiqué outlined governance, corruption and the energy and health sectors as areas which needed drastic reforms.
Presenting the communiqué in Accra on Wednesday, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG, Prof. Emmanuel Martey, said the church was worried about the poor state of the economy which had pushed the government to seek refused in the arms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In addition, the local currency continued to experience serious hiccups that had necessitated constant massaging, a situation which, he said, was adversely affecting all facets of national life.
The church, therefore, called on the government to initiate measures that would cushion Ghanaians against the harsh effects of the high cost of living.
The General Assembly further stated that it was not impressed by the way the government was handling cases of corruption that had so far surfaced in the country.
It said it expected the government to be strong on offenders and take prompt and decisive action, instead of treating alleged offenders with kid gloves, thereby raising doubt over its sincerity in dealing with corruption.
As a means of tackling corruption in the country, it stressed the need for the government to resource key state institutions, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, the Office of the Auditor-General and the Attorney-General’s Department, to enable them to adequately perform their mandates without fear or favour.
It also called on all and sundry to join hands to uproot the canker of bribery and corruption and the emerging ‘moneycracy’ which was disturbing Ghana’s democracy.
The General Assembly also asked the government to take concrete and realistic steps to restore power to move the nation forward.
“We can no longer afford to live in perpetual darkness; three years of searching for a solution is enough,” it said.
It noted that the current power crisis being experienced in the country had had a serious negative impact on economic growth and productivity that could not be overlooked.
“The toll on the economy, besides its huge distressing effect on every Ghanaian and, most importantly, those whose legitimate livelihoods depend on electricity, cannot be overemphasised.
“People are losing their jobs; some are needlessly dying, while others are incurring extra costs to power their generators, with its attendant loss of profit,” it said
With 2016 just around the corner, the church urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to pay heed to the numerous calls by the various political parties and civil society organisations to undertake the necessary reforms, as advised by the Supreme Court in the 2013 ruling on the election petition.
It charged the EC to, as a matter of urgency, put in place the relevant measures to sanitise the voters register, “even if that will mean a compilation of a new one”.
It also advised the government to cooperate with the EC by providing the needed resources to enable the commission to effect the needed reforms that would make the outcome of the exercise generally acceptable to all political parties.