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My comment about govt paying churches was a joke – Bawumia

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has clarified that he was joking when he stated that his administration plans to incentivise churches to undertake more developmental projects, rather than imposing taxes on them.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

In a meeting with the Clergy in the North East Region as part of his nationwide tour, the Vice President explained that his statement may have been taken out of context.

Dr. Bawumia explained that his statement was made within the context that the church and other faith-based institutions have done a lot for the country including the building of schools, hospitals, and other essential facilities and deserved to be helped to do more.

“Look at the number of hospitals the churches have built. Look at the number of universities the churches have built and the faith-based organizations have built. Look at the number of people the churches and faith-based organizations take care of on a daily basis. Can you imagine, just take a thought for a moment that you wake up tomorrow and all the schools, universities and hospitals the churches have built disappear. They just disappear. How would Ghana be like? Ghana will collapse. Isn’t it? We will not survive in this sort of situation because there will be chaos.

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“So at that point I was joking and I said, oh…people are talking about taxing churches. I don’t believe, and we will not tax churches. Because if you look at the work the churches have done, then I was joking then, maybe we should have actually paid them for what they did, not really trying to tax them. But I wasn’t really saying we should pay churches, no. I am saying that we should give incentives to churches to do more.”

This supposed misconstrued incentivising statement was made at a meeting with the clergy in the Bono East region last Friday, May 10.

During the said meeting, the NPP’s flagbearer said, “Unless you don’t understand the work the church has done. If you are looking at the buildings, the way they keep the society together, the universities, the hospitals, the schools, it is massive. It is just massive. Many churches have hundreds of schools. So I don’t see and I will not have a situation where we are taxing churches.”

Dr. Bawumia is currently on a campaign tour in his home region in the North East.

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