14.04.2005 Regional News

Hohoe holds People's Assembly

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Hohoe, April 14, GNA- Capt Nkrabea Effah-Dartey, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, has said the pricing formula applied in determining current levels of petroleum prices were developed when the National Democratic Congress was in power and was poised to implement if it had it remained in office.

He said the pricing formula adopted by the government would be applicable irrespective of which government was in power because it was based on economic realities and not any mischievous plan to impose hardships on the people.

Captain Effah-Dartey was explaining the rationale behind the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products at the Hohoe District People's Assembly.

He said even though the government was a listening one, it would not sacrifice an accelerated economic growth and development ''on the alter of parochial considerations.''

Capt Effah-Darteh appealed to opponents of the government to help the citizenry to appreciate the enormity of the problems in the petroleum sector instead of using the difficulty as a political instrument.

On the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Capt Effah-Dartey, the Member of Parliament for Berekum said it was a more humane means of funding health care delivery than the cash and carry system. Regarding the maintenance of law and order, Captain Effah-Dartey said the government would deal decisively with those who might want to foment insecurity and urged the law enforcement agencies to display the highest sense of professionalism.

Mr Joseph Nayan, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, said the People's Assemblies gave practical meaning to the decentralisation concept and brought government to the grass roots level. He called for active participation from the public to enable the government to benefit from their ideas and concerns necessary for good governance and prudent management decisions.

Mr Kenwuud Nuworsu, the Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), assured that the government would not curtail the unlimited freedom of speech and association in the country even though these were sometimes abused.

"The freedoms, you would agree with me, had resulted in a vibrant media landscape where competition is rife," Mr Nuworsu said. During an open forum, questions and suggestions were mainly on the high cost of living with many suggesting that salaries and wages be raised to correspond with prices.

Some contributors said the lack of accommodation in the districts for workers was an affront to the decentralisation process and called for measures to address it.

Concerns were also expressed about inadequate education on the NHIS and the late release of funds for allowances for National Service Personnel, District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and other development funds.

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