Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock has charged the newly elected village councils in Region Nine to practise good governance and account for resources.
“We (the government) have invested billions of dollars on procuring buses, ATVs, tractors, boat and engines and other projects in communities. It is worrying that in some cases, villages cannot give account for these resources,” Minister Allicock told them. “It is tax payers’ money that is being spent and the village councils must give account for every cent.”
The new St. Ignatius Village Council.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock addressing the new Annai Village Council.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock greeting the newly installed Nappi Village Council.
The minister was conducting an outreach in the Central and North Rupununi accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Alfred King and Legal Advisor, David James and Community Development Officer (CDO), Vincent Henry.
Minister Allicock also reminded the toshaos and councillors that they are servants of the people rather than their bosses. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting any visible community projects, however, village leaders must ensure that all the residents benefit from these ventures and not just a selected few.
Permanent Secretary King reiterated that there are too many complaints regarding mismanagement of village resources. He explained that “development is a not a replacement, but rather building on what one already has, progressing and moving from one level to the next.”
Elections for Toshaos and Councillors are ongoing in some 178 Indigenous Village across the country. Over 93 new village councils have been installed thus far, 16 of which are being led by women.
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