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04.06.2004 General News

Govt would not increase the price of petroleum products - JAK

Govt would not increase the price of petroleum products - JAK
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Akosombo (E/R), June 4, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday gave the assurance that the Government would not increase the price of petroleum products.

He said: "This Government will not succumb to the threat of petroleum products price increases without adequately preparing its people. If we abdicate this responsibility, all our gains of the last three years - our stabilized currency, our reduced inflation and our lowered interest rates - will all be thrown into disarray and disaster will take over".

President Kufuor gave the assurance when addressing the opening session of the two-day Fifth Ghana Investors' Advisory Council (GIAC) Meeting at Akosombo.

He said the international crude oil markets had rapidly degenerated into "what can only be described as a menace to the continued stability and growth of our economy".

He said, fortunately, because of the Government's impressive track record so far it had been able to reach an agreement with its development partners and the multi-lateral donors to keep the lid on the price trigger mechanism.

President Kufuor said this was for a reasonable period to enable the Government to rally such legitimate alternative resources to prevent the bottom being catastrophically knocked out of the very hard-won economic gains made on the harsh sacrifices of the citizenry.

He said "to meet the raging prices Government has had to look within at companies like the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) for available surplus resources which by Law must be paid to the Consolidated Fund in any case to help with the funding of crude oil importation".

President Kufuor said this was how the Government was able to govern the nation and give respite to the nation in addition to supporting the huge out-cry of the world against the monstrous increases in oil prices in the hope to bring them down to affordable levels.

"These measures demonstrate the Government's commitment to staying within this year's budget for as long as practicable", he said. President Kufuor said another challenge faced by the Government was the threat from the Dagbon Crisis that was being contained.

He announced that within the next few months the State of Emergency, which had been in place for two years, might be lifted altogether hopefully after the burial of Ya-Na, Abdulai Andani Yakubu II, Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional Area.

Ghana Investors' Advisory Council (GIAC) is a small, high level and informal advisory group, chaired by President Kufuor. It was inaugurated and held its first meeting in Accra in May 2002. The Council includes a 26-member group of top-level Executives of foreign and Ghanaian businesses such as CMS Energy Company, ECOBANK, Heineken, AngloGold Ashanti as well as individuals from the private sector.

The top-level Corporate Executives assist to increase understanding between the Government and companies driving investments.

The establishment of the Council was mooted by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr Horst Kohler and the World Bank Managing Director Mr James Wolfensen at a meeting with President Kufuor in Bamako, Mali in 2001.

Activities of the Council is an on-going process with two-year commitments of participation from members and convenes once or twice a year.