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Smuggling of fuel and fertilizer in the Upper East

2009-06-25 20:32:33
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Fuel and fertilizer are increasingly being smuggled out of the Upper East Region despite the 30 per cent increase in the price of the former while a 50 per cent subsidy on the latter is encouraging the act.

Mr. Mark Woyongo, Regional Minister who said this during a meeting with Regional and District Coordinating Directors in Bolgatanga, said the situation was worrying and needed drastic measures to curb it. He directed that all who had good reason, like farmers and tractor operators, to buy fuel in containers should obtain a cheat from the District Coordinating Directors to permit them do so and asked fuel station attendants not to sell to people with containers who were unable to produce a permit.

He said task forces had been formed in the various district capitals to help the police check smuggling of fuel and fertilizer and called on the directors to ensure that the fertilizer go to the right people.

Mr. Woyongo said the region was focusing on increasing agriculture production and all the fertilizer allocated to the area would be needed for that. Rice production is to be done on a scale of 700 hectares and 1,000 hectares at Tono and Fumbisi Valley respectively, he said.

Mr. Woyongo said external auditors would soon audit organizations in the region that had changed their regional heads and asked all who would be involved to cooperate with the auditors. The District Assemblies, National Disaster Management Organisation, School Feeding Programme, Non-formal Education among others would be audited.

He said district assemblies had rather low internally generated revenue and called on them to improve their methods of collecting taxes, levies, property rate and other sources of income. Mr Woyongo appealed to the districts not to over politicize revenue collection and must employ honest and competent people who would be dedicated to the work.

He suggested that the 15 per cent commission paid to collectors, who are casual workers, could be increased or those that showed commitment to work be given permanent employment so as to encourage better performance.

Mr. Samuel N'lary, Regional Chief Coordinating Director, said civil servants in management positions were required to declare their assets and liabilities.

He said the perception that declaration of assets was meant for only politicians was wrong because civil servants are also required to do so both at the start of taking office and at the end of one's service.


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