$147M NTC Secretariat commissioned in Sophia
The long-awaited National Toshaos Council (NTC) Secretariat was commissioned on Monday at its National Exhibition Centre, Sophia location.
Some $127.8 million was allocated for construction of the building, and an additional $20 million was allocated this year to furnish it.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips expressed that the building is indicative of government’s commitment to the prosperity of Guyana’s first people.
“This is a historic occasion. The PPP/C government made a promise to you, that in the shortest possible time, we will deliver a secretariat to you, because you are a national organisation and any national organisation must have an office, a national headquarters, in the city of Georgetown. Today, we have delivered on that place,” he said.
The senior government official urged the NTC to make adequate use of the building to make decisions that will impact not only the Indigenous people, but all Guyanese.
“We recognise the importance of you, our Toshaos, and our Indigenous people, to have a place in Georgetown where you can deliberate on and discuss all the important matters that means a lot to you and to the development of Guyana.”
PM Phillips also assured that this is merely one of the many developments set to benefit the Indigenous communities.
The building consists of an administrative building, and a dome, which will be used to hold meetings.
It also features four self contained rooms to accommodate village leaders when they travel from their communities for meetings in the city.
Chairman of the NTC, Derick John, said that this marks a significant milestone for the indigenous people.
He recalled the genesis of the NTC, from a meagre desk housed in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, to now having its own secretarial building to host the multitude of village leaders now in its membership.
“We have come a long way over the years. This here adds to the blend of transforming landscape happening across Guyana. It first started with a vision and a dream, and that dream had attracted a lot of partners and I must say that the government is one of our biggest partners. Because of President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s stewardship, as Indigenous people, we were never left behind.”
He said this building serves as a testimony to a government that caters to the needs of every Guyanese.
At the commissioning ceremony, several leaders were also awarded for their sterling contributions towards the development of Amerindian communities.