APNU+AFC Coalition – ‘a govt of action’
DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 8, 2019
“If you are considering migrating, change your mind.”
This was just some of the advice given by the Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Hon. Jaipaul Sharma during a small interactive community meeting in Lusignan, hosted by Regional Councillor, Ramrattie Jagdeo.
The minister boasted of the significant improvements that have begun under the Coalition Government, in less than five years, adding that it will continue transforming the lives of all Guyanese – who are at the heart of the administration.
He reminded the gathering of some of the major improvements. In infrastructure, he referenced roads linking the coast with hinterland, educational opportunities and achievements which have given Guyana positive recognition on the international scene. Agricultural investments and proposed overall diversification of the economy were also highlighted.
Minister Sharma, a trained economist, advised the gathering, “whilst oil and gas will bring in a lot of money, we have to diversify.”
The problems faced by neighbouring Venezuela, he added, were a clear example of what not to do, when it came to managing the oil money.
Describing the previous government as “very corrupt”, the minister cited the Skeldon Sugar Factory as an example, which wasted $40Billion. The failed Fibre Optic Cable and the Laptop (90,000) per Family projects which cost taxpayers at least US$70Million. He made reference to several other failed projects under the previous administration while noting that:
“If you give the wrong government the chance to spend the oil and gas money, it would be a travesty.”
He reasoned that had the monies been invested in infrastructure, “we would not have had these problems that we now have; many things could have fixed.”
He added that unlike the previous administration, “we are not a government of words, we are a government of action.”
While acknowledging the facts that were shared by Minister Sharma, the residents took the opportunity to press for better water supplies, more street lights, rehabilitated roads and the removal of derelict vehicles stored on the main access road. In the area of security, the residents also made a call for police ranks to be transferred or rotated from the nearby Vigilance Police Station along with the revival of the community policing group.
In response, Minister Sharma indicated that he would be forwarding their concerns to the relevant ministries and agencies for rapid redress.
Similar meetings are planned for other communities as part of the Coalition Government’s efforts to meet citizens, on the ground, and address their problems. In the meantime, Minister Sharma intends to return for a follow-up meeting with other residents.
Image: Ameer Sattaur