The President of the Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC), Rev. Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, has called on the government to complete abandoned hospital projects across the country in order to expand healthcare delivery.
He said the practice of succeeding governments ignoring uncompleted projects initiated by their predecessors was a drain on the national coffers and deprived taxpayers of the benefit of those projects.
"Governments come and go, but every project is eventually paid with Ghanaian taxpayers’ money and Ghanaians must not suffer the losses,” he added.
55th Annual session
Rev. Dr Adu-Gyamfi made the call in a speech at the 55th annual session of the GBC held at the Baptist Women's Resource & Retreat Centre at Ejura in the Ejura-Sekyedumasi municipality in the Ashanti Region.
The annual session brought together senior pastors of the convention from across the country and some parts of West Africa to deliberate on issues affecting the church.
It was on the theme: "Kingdom loyalty for accelerated development".
Rev. Dr Adu-Gyamfi commended the government for successfully implementing the free senior high school (SHS) policy for a year, in spite of the challenges.
“I believe the free SHS project is one of the most far-reaching social intervention programmes the country is currently witnessing,” he stated, and urged Ghanaians to exercise restraint while the government addressed the social challenges one after another.
The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, who was the guest speaker, delved into the historical antecedents of taxing religious organisations in the country.
He said the 1947 Ordinance outlined the first provision of exemption from tax by charitable organisations, which specifically exempted religious bodies from paying duties on imported items.
He said those tax exemptions were in recognition of the contributions made by religious organisations in society, as they prioritised help for the poor and the needy, while seeing to the spiritual well-being of the people.
That, Mr Nti admitted, had lost its ground, hence the need for the government to revise the exemptions in order to build a Ghana Beyond Aid.