The President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has affirmed his determination to uproot corruption from the country as part of his government’s efforts at boosting socio-economic development.
He also expressed his commitment to make corruption ‘an unenviable option’ for everyone serving in his government and for the citizenry as a whole.
‘I urge Ghanaians to assist the government in our collective fight against corruption, as it is a collective, shared but differentiated responsibility,’ he stated.
Mr Mahama stated this in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, at the centenary anniversary of the Catholic Church in the New Juaben municipality on Saturday.
The event, held on the theme, ‘United in faith and love’, was used to honour individuals, including President Mahama and Dr Boamah, as well as church members for their contribution to the development and growth of the church.
It was also used to unveil a GH¢12,000 statue of St George, after whom the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua was named.
The President stated that Ghana, like many other nations in the world today, was going through challenging times.
‘The United States of America only recently succeeded in lifting itself out of a temporary shutdown of its system and Europe is still struggling with the effects of the global economic meltdown,’ he stated.
He also mentioned nations such as China and Japan which had suffered some setbacks, adding that Africa had not been an exception.
The President also stated that Ghana was currently a lower-middle income country, a status which was an indication that ‘we are making progress’.
‘In the medium to long term, we shall reap the fruits. In the short term, the effects of the attainment of a middle-income status are sometimes biting,’ he said.
President Mahama indicated that the middle-income status had placed the country in a position to borrow at relatively higher interest rates from its development partners, while ‘aid is drying up’.
‘This has implications for our debt management strategies,’ he added, and assured Ghanaians that appropriate responses were being taken to deal with these challenges.
The President acknowledged that the Catholic Church in Ghana had been in a similar financial situation before.
‘In the past, assistance used to flow from Europe and America to the church in Africa, including Ghana, but about 15 years ago this gradient began reorienting itself and I dare say it is flattening, if not tilted, in the opposite direction now,’ he explained.
‘What it meant for the church was that you had to intensify efforts towards mobilisation of resources from within and you have succeeded, with the help of God and the faithful,’ he added.pres
The President, who congratulated the Catholic Church on winning many souls for Christ, also praised the church for its contribution to education, health and socio-economic interventions.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Accra, Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle, called on Christians to let their light shine wherever they found themselves and strive to let their faith and love for Christ draw more souls to God.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Helen A. Ntoso, also commended the church for its enormous contribution towards raising the spiritual and physical well-being of the people in the municipality.
In his welcoming address, the Bishop of the Koforidua Catholic Diocese, the Most Rev Joseph Afrifah-Agyekum, thanked the church members, the traditional authorities and other stakeholders for contributing enormously to the development of the church over the years.
By Nana Konadu Agyeman/Daily Graphic/Ghana