Stimulus package: Churches should have been considered – GPCC General Secretary
The General Secretary of Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Rev Emmanuel T. Barigah, says government should have included churches in its ¢600 million stimulus package.
President Akufo-Addo on April 19, announced the allocation of a ¢600 million stimulus package to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) this month as part of efforts to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 on the business community.
The loans form part of measures put in place by the government of Ghana to mitigate the strain on Small and Medium scale businesses across the country that has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic
The statement by the General Secretary of Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Rev Emmanuel T. Barigah, comes after some Churches were unable to hold the one hour for each service with not more than 100 participants’ directive given by the government.
The President while delivering the 10th COVID-19 update address said regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure full compliance of this directive.
“As I stated in my May Day address, I’m now in a position to outline the road-map for easing safely the restrictions. Ours is going to be a fazed approach involving a selective list of public gatherings based on the risk profile, socio-economic effect and most importantly, our capacity to enforce, respond and prevent a flare-up in cases. With effect from Friday, 5th June, we will begin stage one of the process of easing restrictions”.
Speaking on Atinka FM’s AM Drive, Rev Emmanuel T. Barigah, explained that the finances of most Churches are completely down hence the decision by some Churches to use the whole of June to prepare towards re-opening of the Churches.
According to him, many of the pastors, who work full time had their source of income curtailed with the closure of churches.
He added that these churches need to look for other sources of income in order to meet the government’s laid down protocols for the reopening of the Churches
Sheik Aremeyaw, spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who also spoke to Ekourba Gyasi detailed how some mosques worshiped on the first Friday following the easing of restrictions.
He added that most of the mosques followed the safety precautions as outlined by the government.