Essequibo exemplifies development under PPPC’s 21 year rule – President
Georgetown, GINA, October 13, 2013
The transformation that has taken place on the Essequibo Coast during the 21 years of People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), rule and the attempts by the political opposition to derail the country from advancing further were some of the highlights of President Donald Ramotar’s address on the Essequibo coast last evening at the 21st anniversary observance of the Return of Democracy.
The Head of State’s address came after former President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, other government and regional officials rallied residents for support even in the toughest of times.
Earlier in the day, President Ramotar held a meeting with stakeholders from the business community in the Region where the need for expansion of the thoroughfare and new street lights were identified.
The President while addressing the rally reflected on the deplorable state of physical infrastructure on the Essequibo coast prior to the ruling party taking office.
“This road… to come from Adventure, it used to take five and six hours. I experienced that personally coming to this coast… this road used to be called abortion road. Today it is 38 miles of paved roads,” President Ramotar said.
Investments in the region’s physical infrastructure today stands at $528.21M. The targets have been rehabilitation and expansion of major highway, upgrade of almost 90 percent of internal community roads and upgrade of farm to market roads from mud dams to fair weather roads.
As the President turned his attention to the social sector, Essequibo again stood out, particularly where education is concerned.
The country’s top CSEC performers hail from that area. Two students copped 20 and 18 grade ones respectively which will likely help Guyana to retain the top spot in the Caribbean for a second consecutive year, President Ramotar said optimistically.
Their successes were attributed to the investments that have been made in the education sector throughout the country.
During the period 1992 to 2012 all schools in Region Two were rehabilitated while new facilities were constructed. Among them are the Aurora and Wakapoa Secondary Schools, the establishment of the Guyana School of Agriculture and the Essequibo Technical Institute.
Wakapoa Secondary School with an accompanying dorm, was the first for the hinterland area within the region.
The president expounded on other pioneering initiatives like the University of Guyana’s plan to introduce online courses, and the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) that seeks to equip the population with the knowledge of computers.
He explained to residents the endless possibilities that Information Communication Technology (ICT) offer, like working in the comfort of one’s own home.
The Government is making the investments with the overall goal of transforming Guyana into a developed state, but in the new political dispensation, that process has constantly been challenged.
The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) for example was voted down by the parliamentary opposition majority even though the benefits of the project to the Guyanese economy are well known.
As a tourism boost, the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the construction of the internationally branded Marriott Hotel were targeted, but for the political opposition, the aim was to defeat.
Additionally, with plans to build a Specialty Hospital and offer services to locals and foreigners at a fraction of the original cost, the aim was to promote health tourism. That project too has been shot down by opposition legislators.
Under the new political dispensation, the Tenth Parliament has made no achievement other than budget cuts and opposition piloted resolutions that are counterproductive and contrary to legislative norms and practices.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo in a highly charged address said the Parliamentary scenario has exposed the true nature of the political opposition to defeat all of Government’s policy initiatives strategised for every sector.
Beginning with the takeover of the speaker and the deputy speaker’s chair, the former President elaborated on every developmental project that was rejected and the constant accusations levelled against the Government about corruption.
At the request of government a seven- part debate on corruption was broadcast live on state television.
President Ramotar said the Government maintains a transparent record and has always been determined to root out corruption. Auditing of reports of all state entities each year is a feature he said, that was never encouraged under the People’s National Congress (PNC).