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General News of Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Support government initiatives with constructive ideas – Rev Antwi-Tumfuor

Rev Emmanuel Antwi-Tumfuor, the National Director of Evangelism, Evangelical Presbyterian (E.P.) Church, Ghana, has urged Ghanaians to rally behind government policy initiatives with constructive ideas to ensure sustainable economic growth and development.

He said any programme which sought to improve the living standards of citizens whether, in an organization, a church or a country, there were bound to be some teething challenges.

In a statement to the GNA, Rev Antwi-Tumfuor, who is also the Pastor in Charge of Elom Parish, Ho-Bankoe, made reference to the implementation of government flagship free Senior High School policy in 2017, which attracted different shades of opinion from the public including parents, educationists and academicians.

“It is true there are different opinions about the government’s free SHS policy,” he said: “What is expected of us as patriotic citizens are to collectively pray for its success because the taxes we pay form the basis of revenue which is invested in such policies.”

“Therefore, any wish for the failure of the free SHS or other development initiatives by the government will amount to praying for our taxes to go waste,” he added.

There is no doubt, he also noted, any programme which sought to improve the living standard of citizens would face some problems at the beginning.

“How the implementation bottlenecks are handled largely determines the success or failure of any programme,” he added.

Though he said, Ghanaians have high expectations for the government to deliver on its promises to ensure continued economic growth, quality education, health and other socio-economic programmes towards a prosperous country, it was imperative such moves were backed by the citizens.

He expressed thanks to God for the smooth transition from previous administration to the current one.

“It is my prayer that the government will continue to adopt policies and programmes to make life comfortable for all citizens,” he said.

He expressed regret that Ghana recorded pockets of the outbreak of meningitis leading to loss of lives in some schools in the country.

He said: “It is my prayer that before schools re-opens in the coming days, our education and health authorities will activate the relevant proactive emergency mechanisms to guarantee the health of our students.

“Let us all be part of the transformational agenda towards an excellent educational system, by offering constructive criticisms, since education, whether grammar, technical and vocational, as well as apprenticeship training, holds the key to unlocking the potential of the citizenry to contribute meaningfully to national development.”

He described Ghana’s unemployment situation as a major developmental challenge which calls for pragmatic approach and commitment at all levels of national life to tackle it.

He said it was heartbreaking large numbers of young people desperately looking for jobs were exposed to some heartless individuals who exploit them with the promise of securing them non-existent jobs abroad.

He also condemned the horrific journeys young guys embarked upon through the Sahara Desert to North Africa to get to Europe for a better life.

“We have our young brothers and sisters in some Middle East and the Gulf States being sexual exploitation and are also working under dehumanizing conditions,” he said.

“One message that is crystal clear is for our governments especially, in Ghana and Africa in general to ensure the needed environment for the private sector-led growth of our economies to create dignified employment opportunities for our people.”

Rev Antwi-Tumfuor called on churches to put in their programmes and explore socio-economic ventures to complement government’s job creation agenda.

“One area with huge potential for employing the majority of our young people is a well-coordinated agricultural sector and its value addition chain integrated with current ICT infrastructure.

“With the purposeful coordination of agricultural initiatives among various religious groups we can generate employment avenues for our teeming youth.” By so doing, he said, the Church would have the moral right to discourage young people from embarking on those hazardous journeys outside the shores of Ghana for better lives.

He also urged the Church to partner the State to develop entrepreneurship as a strategic goal in all forms of training including apprenticeship programmes for young people.

He called for prayers for moral uprightness and national unity, saying: “one worrying issue in recent times is the attempt by some foreign groups to encourage homosexuality in our dear country.”

The Church would continue to be loud and clear in condemning attempts aimed at promoting homosexuality in Ghana, he said.

“No amount of aid promised by the developed world should make Ghana adopt that abominable act to save our beloved country from God’s anger.”