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25.04.2005 General News

Yaw Barimah denies allegations

By GNA

Begoro (E/R), April 25, GNA- Mr Yaw Barimah, the Eastern Regional Minister, has denied suggesting that petrol should be sold at 40,000 a gallon.

Addressing a People's Assembly at Begoro on Monday, he said while speaking a People's Assembly during the week he told the audience that when the price of crude oil on the world market was 35 dollars a barrel, Ghana sold a gallon of petrol at 20,000 cedis.

''Therefore, as the crude oil is now selling at about 55 dollars a barrel, petrol could have been sold at 40,000 cedis. I did not say it should be sold at 40,000 cedis," Mr Barima said.

"We know that selling petrol at 40,000 cedis could have brought untold hardships to the citizenry and even 29,000 cedis could not be all that reasonable at this time of escalating world prices."

Mr Barimah said when the government declared Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) there was outcry from certain quarters but the benefits now showed the importance of joining HIPC.

He said people should also not assume deregulation of petroleum products importation meant the government was insensitive to the plight of the people. "If this is not done, the development needed will not come."

Mr Barimah said the government was trying to achieve a per capita income of 1,000 dollars by the next four years, instead of the current 400 dollars.

Mr Ebenezer Ofoe Caesar, the acting Fanteakwa District Chief Executive, reacting to a concern by a participant on threats posed by Fulani herdsmen in the district, said the assembly was identifying landlords who have given land to herdsmen so as to hold a meeting with them.

He said the assembly would educate the herdsmen on how to control the animals so as not to create confusion as being experienced in some parts of the country.

"We have also been holding meeting with chiefs to find ways of addressing the issue".

Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyirah, the Regional Director Of Health Services, said hospital authorities would soon hold a consultative meeting with pharmacists so that they would provide drugs that could not be supplied by the hospitals for onward disbursement under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He assured a participant at the forum who raised concern that some hospitals operating the NHIS were either conniving with some pharmacists to either hoard some drugs or sell them at exorbitant prices to patients, thus making the NHIS rather more expensive. Osabarimah Awuah Kotoko, who chaired the function, dismissed fears among some settler farmers in the area that Okyeman would sack them. He said those who had valid documents would not be sacked but warned that they would not give people the opportunity to do whatever they liked to create disaffection between the Okyeman and the settlers.

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