Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on churches and other religious organisations to support the Government’s efforts at mobilising domestic revenue towards the provision of basic services for the citizenry.
He noted that churches in the country had played influential roles in infrastructure development through provision of schools, health facilities and potable water among other things, with their own resources.
Therefore, he said, they were better positioned to support the Government to actualise the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda for accelerated economic growth.
Vice President Bawumia said: “You have done magnificent work through tithes and donations. Therefore, Government can learn from you to build a ‘Ghana beyond Aid.’
“We need to step up tax collection as a way to mobilise enough resources to pay for health care, water, roads, build schools, hospitals, and care for those in society who are not able to provide for themselves because of sickness, old age or loss of a spouse”.
Vice President Bawumia made the call when he delivered an address at the 43rd General Council Meeting of the Church of Pentecost at the Pentecost Convention Centre in Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region on Wednesday.
The meeting was held on the theme: “Remain in Christ and His Basic Message,” which brought together 99 branches of the Church.
The occasion was also used as a send-off ceremony for Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, the Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, who has been at the helm of affairs for the past 10 years and will retire in August this year.
Vice President Bawumia said with the Church’s membership of 2.5 million, it was better placed to use its influential platform to educate members on the need to fulfill their tax obligations.
He cited the Church of Pentecost as a classic example of indigenous churches that had provided a wide range of infrastructure for Ghanaians.
He said the Government’s vision of achieving financial-sufficiency was attainable and urged the Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) to complement its efforts to meet the needs of the populace.
Vice President Bawumia said: “Government is determined to build a Ghana beyond Aid. A Ghana that uses its own resources and employs proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth”.
He said the Government was encouraged by the contributions of the Church over the years and gave the assurance that it would continue to roll out pragmatic policies and programmes to engender economic growth.
“As an indigenous church, with no foreign or external support, you have, through the prudent management of resources, firmly established branches in ninety-nine countries.
“Aside other phenomenal investment made in the educational and health sectors of our economy, the Church again, from its own homegrown resources, has managed to put up this world-class Centre where this meeting is currently taking place.
“The Church of Pentecost, therefore, provides the needed example that, with the right kind of leadership and prudent management of resources, the vision of Ghana beyond Aid is not only achievable but realistic,” the Vice President said.
On behalf of the Government, he commended Apostle Opoku Onyinah for his meritorious service to the Church and the country for the past 42 years.
“Apostle Chairman, it is my prayer that God Almighty, who called you and has sustained you till date, will, even in your retirement, continue to grant you sufficient grace to serve humanity in other capacities,” Dr Bawumia said.
Apostle Opoku Onyinah has also served as a member of the National Peace Council since 2011.
The Vice President later commissioned a police station complex to house the Millennium City District Police.