The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has called on the government to set good example in the burden-sharing call by cutting down on economic cost to alleviate the hardship facing Ghanaians.
To achieve that, the conference said the size of the government and the leadership in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) should be significantly reduced.
“One strong signal that will indicate leadership is committed to burden-sharing is by reducing the size of presidential and ministerial convoys,” it stated.
In a communique issued last Friday at the end of the 2022 annual plenary assembly held in Donkorkrom in the Eastern Region, signed by the President of the GCBC, Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the conference indicated that “There should be an aggressive approach to acting on the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s report, which are replete with cases of misappropriation, mismanagement and actual thievery.
“As part of the efforts to stabilise the cedi, there should be a stiffer crackdown on the black market and money laundering, and import duties on materials and goods for critical industries should be reduced.”
The event was held on the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, participation and mission in the light of the new evangelisation in Ghana.”
The conference recalled that at a GCBC organised last year at Wa, its communique catalogued a number of challenges that confronted the people as a nation.
A year on, they said the bishops were sad to note that the situation had worsened, with numerous challenges persisting.
“These challenges include high cost of living, high inflation, youth unemployment, bribery, corruption, greed, selfishness, lack of patriotism, poverty, deplorable roads, carnage on our roads, armed robbery, murder and other crimes, galamsey, among others,” they stated. They said the challenges, in addition to the current global crisis, had contributed to our current socio-economic situation.
He indicated that the economic hardships were becoming unbearable for Ghanaians, who were getting angry, frustrated and disappointed.
“This anger is growing and is expressed through booing at
government officials, demonstrations, open insults and an urgent action must be taken to douse the anger and frustration of the people,” they said.
Most Rev. Gyamfi indicated that politics in Ghana had unfortunately split Ghanaians on partisan lines, making it difficult for the people to speak with one voice and come together for the sake of the common good.
Because of unhealthy partisan politics, they said one’s commitment to the nation and the church was mostly sacrificed for the interests of one’s party.
The conference called on the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress to accept the fact that none of them alone has the solutions to our economic challenges.
“That is why both have resorted to the IMF and the World Bank for support over the years and this is a clear indication that we have to come together as one people and collectively look for a permanent solution to our challenges,” they said.
Dwelling on bribery and corruption, they said the bishops’ previous calls on the issue seemed to yield no positive result, adding that corruption in every facet of Ghanaian life was not only perceived but very rife.
They stated that corruption was unacceptable and must be dealt with at all times and at all levels of human endeavour since it was cancerous to the life and vitality of our nation and call on every Ghanaian including religious leaders, individuals, government agencies, service providers, public and civil servants-to stand up and to defend the cause of justice, probity and accountability.
“Let us eschew all attitudes, behaviours and actions that support, encourage and condone bribery and corruption. We call on all Catholics, especially those in politics and public service, to lead this crusade against corruption,” he admonished.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, DONKORKROM