The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Right Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, has expressed concern over the number of public holidays observed in the country, describing the situation as a setback to national economic development.
He said Ghana, like many other African countries, suffered from a huge development gap, hence the need for the state to use more of its time productively to facilitate economic development.
Rt Rev. Prof. Mante, therefore, underscored the need for the state to reduce the number of public holidays observed in the country and also put in place adequate supervision in the various institutions to ensure that workers used their time judiciously and at optimum.
He was speaking at a church service to mark the dedication of a new children's block for the Teshie Camp Methodist Presby Church (TCMPC) at Teshie in Accra yesterday.
"I do not understand why a country that is struggling like ours should have so many holidays. It is the same country where workers do not commit to working for eight hours, as scheduled.
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"We are in a serious economic bondage. Studies have shown that 19 out of the 20 poorest countries in the world are in Africa. We should rather be working than any other country," he stated.
National holidays are regulated by the Holiday Act of 2001 (Act 601). Under this law, such days are classified as paid, non-working days throughout the country.
Currently, Ghana has 12 national public holidays, including New Year's Day (January 1), Constitution Day (January 7), Workers' Day (May 1), Independence Day (March 6), Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Others are Eid-ul-Adha (Hajj period), Eid-ul-Fitr (Ramadan period), Farmers Day (First Friday in December), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26) and Founders’ Day (August 4).
In a sermon titled: “Independence is meaningless unless it is achieved in God”, Rt Rev. Prof. Mante called for a change in attitude on the part of the citizenry and the leaders towards the management of state resources.
He expressed worry over what he described as the habit of blaming others for the woes of the country and urged the citizenry, particularly Christians, to be responsible in their endeavours.
“The youth must take responsibility and be ready to put their destiny in their own hands. They must accept that the world is hard and embrace hard work to change their situation,” he stated.
The TCMPC dedicated and named its multipurpose children’s block located at the 48 Engineers Regiment, Wajir Barracks in Teshie after the late Moses Mensah Tagoe, one of the past elders and Sunday School superintendents of the church.
Christened the Tagoe Complex, the building, valued at GH¢1,837,500, has three halls, nine offices, a library, an infirmary, a 40-seater conference room and two single-bedroom self-contained apartments.
The Chaplain in charge of the church, the Very Rev. Lt Commander D.B. Quayson, explained that the new building was named after the late Tagoe in recognition of the instrumental role he played in the establishment and growth of the Children’s Ministry when he served the church from 1956-2005.
For his part, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt General Obed Boamah Akwa, commended the church for mobilising resources to put up a multipurpose structure to the glory of God and the welfare of its children.
He urged the users of the facility to adopt a positive maintenance culture to ensure its sustainability.
He pledged to donate two air-conditioners and a television set to be installed at the facility.