The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has expressed concern over the increasing incidence of bribery and corruption, theft and embezzlement of state and private funds in the country.
'Many had thought that the passing of the Public Procurement Law and other laws and instruments would help 'improve accountability, value for money, transparency and efficiency in the use of public resources',' it noted.
But the church noted that like unemployment, corruption had become a troubling national issue.
The issue was contained in a communique issued by the church at the end of its 2013 General Assembly meeting and read at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
The Moderator of the PCG, Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, who read the communique, noted that corruption had become so pervasive in the country, with no solutions in sight.
'Ghana's score on the Transparency International Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 2011 was 46. The score in 2012 was 45, signifying a drop, albeit small, from the 2011 CPI level,' it said.
According to the church, the Auditor-General's reports implicate several people, particularly public officials, over corruption, theft and embezzlement of public funds, yet they are not made to face justice.
'The laws of the land must be applied squarely to the 'givers and takers of bribes', as well as those found guilty of embezzlement and theft of state resources,' it said.
n the threat of desertification, the PCG recalled the recent attempt by the government to halt the rapid descent of the Sahara Desert through a tree-planting exercise in the three northern regions of the country.
On the upcoming Supreme Court judgement on the election petition, it asked the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to resist the temptation of allowing the outcome of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the petition to divide the country.
It also called on the leadership of all the political parties in the country to institute political education units in their organisations to help educate and inform their members and the public on national issues.
It urged the NDC and the NPP to see the SC ruling as an opportunity to forge ahead as one people in the pursuit of peace, stability and progress.
The communique stated that since Ghana is the only country we all have, we must join hands in protecting it against any conflict, feud or other acts that may cause national disintegration after the Supreme Court judgement'.
On Post 2012 election challenges
The PCG commended the political parties, the electorate, the security agencies and other agencies for the various roles they played in ensuring that the country had a peaceful general election.
'In addition, we laud the flag bearer of the NPP, other party leaders and members for seeking redress at the Supreme Court after expressing dissatisfaction over the results of the presidential election,' it said.
The economy of Ghana
The PCG raised concerns over the issue of bribery and corruption, foreign nationals and illegal mining, waste management and unemployment, describing them as a detriment to the development of Ghana.
It said although the government had made progress to turn Ghana into a middle-income country through different plans and programmes, 'conditions in the country are still very difficult'.
The PCG said there was so much sensationalism, distortion, fabrication and exaggeration in news reporting and information.
'For instance, it has been the unfortunate practice of some media houses to spice up and add their own versions to stories for public consumption, to the detriment of the affected parties,' it said.
By Dominic Moses Awiah/Daily Graphic/Ghana