CSO Programme provides stimulus for Amerindian Communities- Deputy Speaker Shuman

Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Lenox Shuman says the reintroduction of the Community Service Officers (CSO) in Amerindian Communities programme will aid struggling Amerindian communities.

His Excellency, Dr.  Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Monday announced several measures in Budget 2020 that will go toward Amerindian development. Chief among them was an allocation of $800M for the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) and the reintroduction of the Community Service Officers in Amerindian Communities.

Mr. Shuman appearing on the National Communication Network’s Insight programme on Tuesday, applauded having the CSO programme back on the agenda, noting that “many communities are struggling financially and I think it provides a good support mechanism for young people”

“For example, if you have four to ten people, let’s take a number of ten people in the community for the CSO at ten thousand dollars, each, that’s a hundred thousand injected into that community right there,” Mr. Shuman added.

The CSO programme was discontinued under the previous APNU/AFC Coalition which then introduced the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme.

The Deputy Speaker said that while there was the intent, the programme never really delivered.

“I know in the HEYS programme, they spent close to three billion dollars and if you are to count the success stories across the country if you find twenty then that is a lot…so if you look at 20 success stories for three billion dollars I don’t know if you would have gotten the value for dollar under the HEYS programme.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Shuman also addressed other measures in the budget including the $15,000 cash grant for school children. The Deputy Speaker is of the view this provides a stimulus for communities and it is a start compared to “what was not there before.”

The Deputy Speaker is happy to see that there is some thought into supporting families.

Mr. Shuman noted that Guyana is on the verge of tremendous growth and now that growth “will not be confined to the coast.”