President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on workers to eschew the habit of using working hours for prayer sessions.
He said the economic transformation the nation desired would not be possible if workers continued to spend working hours on prayers.
“We come to work and spend the first hour and more not on the job we are paid to do but on prayers. We go to all night prayers and come to work the next day tired and unfit for the purpose,”
“We take out a week for every funeral and expect our businesses to thrive because we evoke the name of the Almighty.”
Speaking at the International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Business and Technology in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said the nation would attain its desired level of development through hard work and positive working attitudes, not miracles.
“The Good Book says there is a time and place for everything. We cannot, and should not, continue to hide behind religiosity to indulge in the practice that has characterised our attitude to work,” he said.
The President urged churches and mosques to help in the advocacy for the attitudinal change needed to build a new economy.
According to him, something fundamental had gone wrong because people had been conditioned to believe that the government was the only source of employment in the country.
He said for instance, most university graduates saw the Customs Division as the most attractive jobs because officials of Customs were able to build houses faster than even cocoa farmers.
“In my life time, cocoa farmers have gone from the rich and powerful people in the societies to the poor and unappreciated,” he said and added that an official at COCOBOD were more likely to be richer and respected than a cocoa farmer.
President Akufo-Addo noted that farmers, especially cocoa growers, would be treated with respect under his government to enable them contribute to the country’s economic growth.
“Successful economies depend on entrepreneurs running successful businesses. It is time to take entrepreneurship seriously,” he said.
Aside creating the environment for businesses to grow, he said his government would run an efficient and competent public service.
He said the private sector had become an attractive source of making money in the country and expressed the commitment to reverse that trend.
“When the public service becomes an attractive source of money making, we must acknowledge that are in the wrong order,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the recent budget indicated that the government was ready to strengthen businesses and urged academic institutions to review their content and train students capable of finding solutions facing the country.
The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Bishop Titus Awotwi-Pratt, said for businesses to flourish, there should be a system of government which minimised impunity, promoted rule of law, and reduced corruption.
He urged the participants to deliberate and come out with workable solutions to the many challenges facing entrepreneurship in the country.
The conference was sponsored by the Methodist University College.
By Yaw Kyei