The Founder of the International Central Gospel Church, Pastor Mensa Otabil, has urged Ghanaians not to be content with the provision of basic goods and services such as roads, water and electricity by the state.
“We can’t just be happy because a road has been tarred. We can’t just be happy that we didn’t have electricity now we have electricity. We can’t be happy with minimals”, he said, adding: “…citizens must have an appetite for better.”
Pastor Otabil, who was speaking at the launch of a book titled Dare to Dream on Albert and Comfort Ocran’s Springboard roadshow, also called on the State to stop “monopolising” and “hijacking” business opportunities from citizens and rather be an “enabler” for private organisations and individuals, to do business, and also run the country.
He said: “I think one of the biggest problems nations like ours face is that the state, which should be an enabler, most of the time, becomes an agent of suffocation.
“There’s too much impact of the state in the lives of the people…we have to get to the point where it’s not the state running the country, it’s the people running the country, its entrepreneurs running the country, its businessmen [running the country].
“The state should get out of hospitals, the state should get out of the schools, the state should get out because they mess up everything they get involved in and get individuals to run the place.”
Pastor Otabil added: “Isn’t it amazing when Doctors go on strike, state doctors, state nurses, and they shut down the whole health system because there’s no hospital in Ghana – private hospital – that employs 20 doctors? None!
“The state has monoplised everything. For whatever purpose, they have hijacked the country from the citizens. And it’s going to take entrepreneurs like you to wrestle with the state and take back from them what belongs to us the people and build our nation the way we want it to be built and when we do that then politicians will not be as effective controllers of the destiny of the people as they have become now because as it is now, they determine how everything runs but it’s going to take businessmen like you and I to make the difference.
“So, I hope that as we celebrate this story, and I like how it was put earlier that it’s a revolution and it’s really a revolution, we have to battle, we have to fight, we have to wrest the destiny of our nation from incompetence and from people, who have determined to run us to the ground. We have to wrest the nation back and control it as citizens of this country and that is the challenge I want to put to you.
“You have to dare to dream to take our nation back and I’m not saying that in a political sense. I’m not saying take it back from one party to give it to another party; I’m saying the citizens must take their country back and run their own country, and if springboard succeeds in doing that, I think it would have done a very great service to our country and if you and I succeed in doing that, we would have done a great service to our country, so, I hope that tonight as we launch this magazine, we will not leave here with a sense of accomplishment, but we’ll be fired to …go out there and make a difference and the difference is not just for you to prosper, but for you to take back your nation.
“I’m looking for the day when government employs only about five per cent of Doctors in Ghana, I’m looking for the day when government employs just about five per cent of nurses and when the government does not run all the schools and run them aground as they’ve been doing, I’m looking for the day when schools will be run by institutions, by cooperatives, by local areas, by churches and by other agents, which can run them well and run them with vision,” Dr Otabil said.