General News of Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Ghana’s former Ambassador to Japan, Dr Baffour Adjei-Bawuah says the Clergy are concerned about the plummeting value of the cedi because the situation is affecting tithes and offertory in the Church.
Dr Adjei-Bawuah told XYZ News’ Farida Khailann in an interview on Monday that the several tax increases have affected the generosity of Ghanaian Christians.
“…You raise taxes on utilities and what not, the disposable income of the average person who is going to be the final client is down and in fact, some of these Church people who have been making big noises about what is going on is that part of their problem – even though they can’t admit that publicly – is that the situation now is that the take that they have at Church has gone down”.
He said previously, when time were good, Church members gave abundantly without any prompting but the situation has now compelled them to cap their largesse.
“…I have some preachers who are friends of mine who have admitted their collection plates are not being filled as they used to”.
The cedi has already depreciated by three per cent against the major international currencies this month.
The US dollar, which sold at Ghc2.20 on the local foreign exchange market before Christmas last year, now sells at Ghc2. 60.
The British pound, which sold at Ghc3 now sells at Ghc4.20. The euro and CFA are also selling at Ghc3.50 and Ghc4.80 respectively. In 2013, the local currency suffered 17-per cent depreciation.
The year-on-year depreciation shows a 21.96 per cent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar; 28.88 per cent against the pound sterling; 23.98 per cent against the euro and 25.54 per cent against the Swiss franc.
The Bank of Ghana recently injected $20 million into critical areas of the economy as part of efforts to shore up the cedi.
Leading his followers, in Church on Sunday to pray for the recovery of the fast depreciating local currency, the Presiding Bishop and General Overseer of the Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM) headquartered in the national capital, Accra, said: “…I hold up the cedi with prayer and I command the cedi to recover and I declare the cedi will not fall; it will not fall any further. I command the cedi to climb. I command the resurrection of the cedi. I command and release a miracle for the economy”.
Archbishop Duncan-Williams also led his church to pray for President John Mahama, Finance Minister Seth Tekper and Central Bank Governor Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, for divine help and guidance toward salvaging the cedi.
“In the name of Jesus, say Satan take your hands off the President; take your hands off the Central Bank and the Finance Minister. Say we release innovation for the President, my God, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Central Bank, in the name of Jesus Christ the son of God, the Finance Minister. Say we command new ideas, breakthroughs and a miracle for the economy. Let the cedi rise in Jesus name”, he led in prayer.
Dr Adjei-Bawuah believes Duncan-Williams’ concerns for the cedi are borne out of the hard times Ghana is going through. “Times are tight”, he said.