IDPADA-G, Cuffy 250 Committee officials using the cause of Afro-Guyanese to enrich themselves
-Vice President dismisses discrimination claims
-only $343,000 of $100M received for 2020 disbursed in grants
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has brought under the spotlight the fact that the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly- Guyana (IDPADA-G) has benefitted from hundreds of millions of dollars in Government funding to further the cause of Afro-Guyanese, even as those in its leadership falsely accuse the PPP/C Government of practicing discrimination.
The Vice President, who was speaking at a press conference on Friday said, “The cause is to shout as much as possible about discrimination so that they can draw the benefits in.”
Dr Jagdeo revealed that IDPADA-G, which is aPrivate Limited Liability Company has received from the Government of Guyana $68 million in 2018, $100 million in 2019, $100 million in 2020, $100 million in 2021 and $100 million in 2022.
While these sums were received by the organisation, the VP said only $343,000 of the $100 million received for 2020 was disbursed in grants to various groups.
“This group of individuals has not only failed Afro-Guyanese, but they are living the good life on the backs [of Afro-Guyanese] claiming that they believe in a cause based on their own personal pecuniary interest,” the VP stated.
The Vice President’s comments stem from an advertisement published by the Cuffy 250 Committee inviting persons to participate in a discussion themed, “Resisting the emerging Apartheid state in Guyana.”
“This is doing a disservice to Apartheid, and the struggles of the South African people, do they know what Apartheid is? And this is what they have a conference on.”
Dr Jagdeo pointed out that it is the same individuals who have received close to half a billion dollars from this PPP/C Government.
“We are funding basically them criticising the Government, this is effectively what is happening,” the VP noted.
Banker and financial expert, Floyd Haynes, who was listed as a speaker at the discussion, has already distanced himself from any involvement and has rejected the statement as a disservice to all Guyanese.
Two other speakers are Cuffy 250 Committee Chairman, Dr Norman Ng-A-Qui and Vincent Alexander, who are also beneficial owners of IDPADA-G.
Dr. Jagdeo told the press, “I’d like them to have a press conference so that they could tell the people of this country what they have done with the nearly half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money they have received and how much they have utilised to give in the interest of ordinary Afro-Guyanese in this country.”
The Vice President also presented IDPADA-G’sfinancial statement for 2020, which shows that salaries and allowances amounted to $42 million, conference expenses, $4.5 million, travelling and transportation, $2.8 million, advertisements, $2 million, office material and expenses, $9 million, and building rentals and utilities, $5 million.
“Doesn’t this country see that these are parasites using Afro-Guyanese just for their own personal benefits?” Dr Jagdeo questioned.
Responding directly to criticisms by Working People’s Alliance (WPA) member, David Hinds’ criticism that the PPP/C Government can empower Afro-Guyanese through scholarships, the Vice President stated that through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships programme, more Afro-Guyanese received scholarships in one year, as compared to five years under the APNU+AFC, of which, ironically, the WPA was a member party.
“More Afro-Guyanese got land in the first two years of the PPP/C Government than in the five years under APNU, significantly more, if you’re talking about facts on empowerment,” he added.
Making reference to the ‘Because We Care’ and school uniform and supplies $30,000 grant which benefitted every child in public and private schools, the VP said Afro-Guyanese children received some $3.7 billion.
“That is $3.7 billion more going to their pockets that they didn’t have under APNU, in fact APNU took away the $10,000 grant,” he noted.
The Vice President contends that Afro-Guyanese continue to benefit from measures implemented by the PPP/C Administration significantly more than they did during the APNU+AFC Coalition leadership.