Religion is impeding our progress as a country - Ken Agyapong

MP for Assin Central constituency, Kennedy Agyapong MP for Assin Central constituency, Kennedy Agyapong

The Member of Parliament(MP) for Assin Central constituency, Kennedy Agyapong, has indicated a number of factors that have become a hindrance to the progress of the country.

According to the business mogul, the progress of the country is being impeded by the perception of Ghanaians with religion and the mentality, as well as attitude towards work, making foreigners taking over the businesses and the markets in the country.

Speaking in an interview on Asempa FM’s “Ekosiisen” Afternoon Show, Kennedy Agyapong intimated that foreigners like Indians and Lebanese as well as other nationals have the right attitude and mentality for business, unlike Ghanaians who out of religion don’t even want to open their shops for business on Sundays.

Giving a scenario he witnessed in Kumasi one Sunday after attending a wedding, he said that he could not find any Ghanaian shop opened that Sunday apart from “Omotuo” [Rice Ball] joints, but found Palace and Melcom Shops belonging to Lebanese and Indians respectively opened for business around 12:30 pm.

He bemoaned the way Ghanaians do not find it needful to apportion time for everything they do even on Sundays as they could have opened their shops for business after church and not leave the Sundays’ sales for the foreigners alone.

“I keep saying that religion is impeding progress in this country, and after you say fix it. Everybody including myself should fix our attitudes and mentality. This is what I saw in Kumasi and I had time to count the Ghanaian shops which were closed, and I told the people around me why the Indians and the Lebanese will continue to make money in this country, because all the Sunday sales will go to these two foreign companies because all the other shops belonging to Ghanaians are closed,” he bemoaned.

“Why is it that Christians go to church on Sunday and so they will not open their shops, but if the Indians and the Lebanese who are not Christians open their shop on Sundays, they rush to go there to buy something they need,” he wondered.

"Our attitude towards work and our perception with religion are the hindrance to our progress. I don’t have any problem when someone goes to church but we need to apportion time for everything you do. After church, they go to the Tuo Zaafi joint to eat. Are they, therefore, saying that the people who prepared Tuo Zaafi are the devil’s incarnate? I am trying to draw your attention to why Ghanaians don’t seem to be succeeding."

He, however, mentioned another hindrance to the success of Ghanaian businesses to be poor management.

“Another hindrance to our progress in the business sector is poor managers handling Ghanaian companies. I am sorry to tell you the truth that if you establish a company and hand it over to a Ghanaian to manage it for you, the person will bring the company down, but if you give it to a foreigner to handle, the business flourishes,” he mentioned.

“All the companies that are succeeding in the manufacturing and retailing are owned by the Chinese, Indians, Lebanese, British and other nationals. Because of our poor mentality and attitudes, we are always seen as underdogs, doing labourer work in our own country and the foreigners have taken over the juicy positions in the private sector,” he added.

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