President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday announced that Ghana would soon establish a permanent Mission at the Vatican in Rome to bring the activities of the Catholic Church closer to all Ghanaians.
He said: “Government has already sent in a request to the Vatican concerning the establishment, and we are waiting for their response before we go ahead.”
President Mahama announced this when members of the Catholic Bishops Conference called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.
The delegation, led by Leon Kalenga, Out-going Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana and 11 Bishops, were at the Presidency to congratulate the President on his victory and coronation as the President of the Republic and also to discuss issues that would propel the development of the country in the coming years.
President Mahama said the Catholic Church had over the years been instrumental in the socio-economic development of the country and called on them to support government to achieve the development agenda as the years roll by.
On the water and electricity crisis in the country, President Mahama gave the assurance that government was tackling the water problem through the expansion of the Kpong water plant that would provide additional 80 million gallons of water in the next few years.
He said work on the Aboadze project would be completed by next month to add almost 300 megawatts of power to assuage the current deficit the country was experiencing and called on Ghanaians to be more patient as the government pursued those goals.
The President said a private company would soon embark on the construction of a plant that would purify water from the sea, and it’s expected to supply about 10 million gallons of water to the people of Accra and its surrounding areas.
Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference appealed to government to streamline issues on the partnership between government and the church in the area of education to enhance effective and quality education in the country.
He called on government to find immediate solutions to the water and power crisis coupled with the strike action of teachers to ensure peace and unity that would catapult the development agenda of the country.
Earlier on, President Mahama received different Muslim groups with a call on them to step up their intercessory prayers that would unite and keep the country in peace. The Muslims, who were at the Presidency to discuss the annual Prayer and Thanksgiving Service, also congratulated President Mahama for the development agenda he had embarked on.
The President commended the Muslims and Christians for their peaceful co-existence and appealed to them to continue with that cooperation to help accelerate the development of the country.
In another development President Dramani Mahama on Friday appealed to Customs Authorities to brainstorm to find workable ways of generating revenue and how to avoid perennial cross border crisis.He said most developing countries depend solely on custom duties hence the need for the personnel to rake in more duties in order to facilitate the development agenda.President Mahama made the appeal when Director Generals of Customs from Western and Central Africa called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.
The delegation included Mr. Mikuriya Kunio, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation. The members, made up of 23 African Countries are currently attending a conference in Accra.
President Mahama said the conference was instrumental as the Economic Community of West African Countries had also signed protocols on the free movements of goods and services among member countries.
He said there is the need for the West African sub-region to implement the ECOWAS protocols to facilitate the free movement of people and goods at the borders of member countries.
“Although we have over the years signed these ECOWAS protocols, it is still a problem trying to get your goods and services across other countries without any hindrance”, President Mahama stressed.
Mr. Kunio said the conference would give member countries the opportunity to adopt border protection measures that would help them reduce the incidence of crime and increase revenue generation.
He said the conference would also equip member countries to step up their trade links and devise ways that would enhance growth and development in their countries.
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