The President of the Ghana Baptist Convention, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, has called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to as matter of urgency review the cost of issuing Visa on-arrival to foreign nationals, who arrive in the country.
According to him, while other sister African countries are charging as low as $50 per head, Ghana is the only country that is charging a whopping $ 150 per head for issuing Visa on-arrival.
The preacher man, minced no words to warn that if care was not taken, the cost of issuing the Visas on-arrival will defeat the laudable initiatives of the heads of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure free movement of people and goods on the continent.
The visibly worried man of God, poured out his displeasure in a welcome address delivered at the All Africa Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly on the theme: Jesus Christ the Door of Hope” held in Accra.
The four –day conference which begun on Wednesday August 24 and is expected to end on Saturday August 27, saw participants drawn from 64 conventions and unions in 34 countries with membership of over 120 million across the world.
He said, this practice if not checked, would in the long run give room for some unscrupulous Ghanaian officers to start showing traces of corruption on the blind side of the Government.
He feels if the practice is not reviewed immediately, it will create problems for more and more non –Ghanaians, who seek to enter the country and in the long term derail the efforts of the government in generating taxes through tourism.
He urged the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to take steps to correct these anomalies before it play out of proportion at the various entry points.
“Very soon officials will start lurching on the high cost of the visas to demand moneys from foreigners outside the receipt books at the entry ports in the country”
In a swift admission of guilt on the part of Government, Matilda Amissah –Arthur, wife of the Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, assured the leadership of the Baptist church that their concerns would be channeled to the appropriate headquarters for redress.
She took the opportunity to thank the President of the Baptist Convention for bring their difficulties at entry points to the attention of the authorities that matters.
She was quick to add that as a politically ‘incorrect person” the only thing she can do was to alert the appropriate authorities to see how best the issue can be handled to bring sanity into the system.
According to her, the fact that her husband is the Vice President of the country does not make her a politician that is why she always says it as it is.
‘’I can never be a politician because my husband is a politician and I know that for a fact because I cannot lie hence my children telling me all the time that I am politically incorrect’’
Moving on further, she said Africans, have Christians who can solve problems, but they shy away, because they do not want to be labeled politicians.
In spite of all these politicians make the money through whatever means and bring it to the church for God’s blessings.
Interestingly, the leadership of the church also name pews in honour of the politicians who they are believe are corrupt in the society she posited.
On his part, President of All Africa Baptist Fellowship (AABF) Rev. Dr. Michael Okwako, was elated to have made the journey to join his colleagues to celebrate the favour of God on the church in Ghana.
He said quite often political leaders think that the church is a waste of time yet they frequent the shrines for powers to protect themselves while in office instead of seeking the face of God.
He took the opportunity to commend the Vice President’s wife for the leadership she exhibited and the kind of service she and the husband are offering to the people of Ghana.