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25.07.2005 General News

Government Subsidises Fuel

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Bolgatanga, Graphic -- The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has said the government has begun subsidising the price of petroleum products, owing to the continuous increase in the price of crude oil on the international market.

He explained that although it was not prudent for the government to subsidise petroleum products,it was compelled to pay about $15 per barrel of oil because the $45 projected before undertaking the petroleum sector deregulation exercise in February 2005,had been exceeded as the current price of a barrel of the commodity was about $60 per barrel.

The Vice-President said this when he called on the Bolga Naba, Martin Abilba, at his palace as part of his week-long tour of the Upper East Region in Bolgatanga today.

He said the billions of cedis being used to subsidise petroleum products could be channelled into the development of other sectors of the economy.

Alhaji Mahama said the government considered the interest of the people in taking decisions.He,therefore,condemned efforts by some people to lead vile campaigns against the government saying,“there is no need to give a government the bad name.”

“Do not just tear down the government just to score political points but the opposition should play ball with the government to deliver,so that when one day they win power, they can build ours,”the Vice President said.

He said it was the desire of the government to use the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to phase out the 'cash and carry' system of health financing. Alhaji Mahama reiterated that by September this year, basic education would be free,and that the government had earmarked ¢113billion for that purpose.

The Bolga Naba, Naba Abilba,said signs of development were all over the region and that the government had done a lot within the past four years than what was witnessed 20 years ago.

The Upper East Regional Minister,Mr Boniface Gambila, blamed the poverty situation in the region on what he called the “deliberate political closure of factories, which included the Pwalugu Tomato,the Zuarungu Meat, Bolgatanga and Bawku Rice Mills in the region by the PNDC.