Garu/Zebilla (U/E), April 20, GNA - Mr. Boniface Gambilla, Upper East Regional Minister, has explained that the petroleum regulation exercise was meant to cut government's expenditure on fuel in order to provide social facilities and opportunities for the poor.
He said contrary to what opponents of government have been saying, the continuous subsidy on petroleum products would only benefit the few rich and deprive the poor of essential social services.
Mr. Gambilla rejected the notion that fuel price increases have worsened the plight of the poor, adding that where consumers are made to pay realistic fuel prices, smuggling would be a thing of the past. He gave these explanations at two separate people's assemblies at Garu and Zebilla in the Garu-Tempane and Bawku West District respectively.
At Garu, the Minister, who is also the Acting District Chief Executive, the people questioned government's policies towards the NHIS, considering the poverty level and called for a humane way of collecting premium to benefit all in the scheme.
They also complained about the deplorable road network and electrification projects in the district and the need to improve their living standards.
In response, Mr. Gambilla assured the people of government's preparedness to assist the new district to be at par with other districts, stressing that it would get its fair share of the national cake.
He, therefore, called on the people to complement government's efforts by honouring their tax obligations to raise enough revenue for the development of the district.
At Zebilla, Mr. Gambilla also responded to questions on the efforts of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in alleviating poverty and improving education in the area.
He said government has no intentions to pursue harsh economic policies to put undue burden on the people it has committed itself to work for.
Mr. Gambilla, therefore, urged them to work harder and make sacrifices to ensure that the set goals were realised. He commended the people for their peaceful co-existence and urged their neighbours to emulate them to attract investors and development partners to the area.
The DCE for Bawku West, Mr. Moses Appiah, disclosed that under the rural electrification project, the assembly procured poles to connect nine communities to the national grid. He said eleven more dams would be constructed in the area to allow farmers to have all-year round farming seasons to ensure food security.