Kamil Sanah, GNA
Ejura (Ash), Aug. 29, GNA – Reverend Dr Ernest
Adu-Gyamfi, the Executive President of the Ghana Baptist Convention (GBC) has
tasked the government to complete all neglected health facilities in the
He expressed the hope that President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo would uphold his pledge to complete all abandoned projects
despite the agitations from quarters.
“Governments come and go, but every project is
eventually paid with the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money and Ghanaians must not
suffer the losses”.
Rev Adu-Gyamfi was speaking at the 55th Annual
Session of the GBC on the theme: “Kingdom Loyalty for Accelerated Development
at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.
The annual session brought together senior
pastors, of the GBC across the country and some parts of the West African
continent to deliberate on issues affecting the Convention.
He said in the last four months, the GBC
started operating a new Baptist Health facility at Nvulenu, pending the
official commissioning of the facility, adding that within one month of the
facility operation witnessed four safe deliveries.
“Currently the facility laboratory service is
the best in the whole area serving the Ellembele and Jomoro districts”.
Rev Adu-Gyamfi announced that in the past
year, the GBC received accreditation and pay-roll mechanisation for seven new
Baptist Health Services facilities by the Christian Health Association of Ghana
and Government of Ghana.
He said it was noteworthy that Churches
operated in areas where regular governmental facilities were not available and
that it was complementing government’s efforts and meeting the health needs of
the country’s rural community.
The Executive President congratulated the
government for successfully implementing the first year of the Free Senior High
School project despite the challenges faced during the implementation process. “I
believe the Free SHS project is one of the most far reaching social
intervention programme the country is currently witnessing”.
He said the GBC, for that matter Ghana would
be hosting this year’s All African Baptist Fellowship Western Region Women’s
Rev Adu-Gyamfi announced that the GBC had
established the Shalom Broadcasting Network, a Television Station not only to
meet its core mandate of evangelism, but to provide the platform for sharing of
religious and faith based news.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner General of
the Ghana Revenue Authority who was the Special Guest delved into the
historical antecedents of taxation of religious organisations in the country.
He said the 1947 ordinance outline the first
provision of exemption of tax by charitable organisations including religious
organisations which specifically exempted religious bodies from paying duties
on imported items.
Mr Kofi Nti said the exemptions were in
recognition of the contribution made by the religious organisations in society
as they prioritised the helping of the poor and needy while lifting the
spiritual welfare of the people.
He said the Income Tax Degree, 1975, S.M.C.D 5
maintained the tax exemption status for religious organisations under Section
3(1)(d) but limited tax exemptions to the Christian Church with regards to
their income other than derived from business.
Mr Kofi Nti said Churches had been in the fore
front in societal transformation and that before and after independence
churches played a significant role in the emancipation of the people when it
came to the subject of education.
“Churches provide the setting for the
development of the nation’s human capital through the provision of schools and
led the society in meeting its socio-economic needs”.
He said there was the need for pastors to
build the loyalty of their church members by encouraging them, recognising
exemplary services and having strategic sustainable approach which had a
footprint in the lives of their members.
The Commissioner General said the GBC was one
big family that needed to be fair to its members of the family, adding that,
the leadership must have a programme to know and experience the working
environment and activities of the pastors.