“Lead, follow or stand aside”- Minister Bulkan tells NRDCC confab
DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 19, 2018
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan today placed officials of regional administrations on guard, warning that they either lead, follow or stand aside as the strengthening of regional pride and ownership will not be held hostage by recalcitrance.
He was at the time addressing Mayors, Regional Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen along with other officials at the Ministry of Communities’ National Regional Development Consultative Committee (NRDCC), at the Marriot International Hotel.
The scheduled event which was announced during the Minister’s 2018 National Budget speech late last year, is intended to serve as a mechanism for coordinating the developmental agenda of all three spheres of government.
“The NRDCC is a step towards increasing the efficiency of the regional administrative structure to support the bottom-up approach to democratic governance.” He said since the principal function of the NRDCC will be to facilitate collaborative financial planning and administration it will allow for more accountability, transparency, partnership among key stakeholders which will aid in the effective delivery of public services throughout Guyana.
According to Minister Bulkan, he did fore-warn regional leaders during the budget, that there would be repercussions for their non-participation of the scheduled activity. “I did say that they either participate or be left out.”
There was a clear absence of several regional officials at the event. The Minister said all mayors of municipalities, Chairs and Vice Chairs from across Guyana were invited to the event. However, a number of them did not show up, and the ministry only received an explanation from the Region Six Chairman for his absence.
Minister Bulkan described the non-attendance as sad and irresponsible, he, however, noted his pleasure that the Regional Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Region Nine (upper Takatu/ upper Essequibo) and Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) were there, despite the conference being discredited by the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
He spoke to President Granger’s charge that each Regional Chairman must craft a Plan of Action for Regional Development (PARD) which he said is an imperative developmental tool and the Head-of-State’s call for regional development to be centred on the establishment of “Capital Towns” in which public, financial and economic services are satisfactorily delivered.
Expanding more on the confab, Minister Bulkan said it will serve as a decisive step towards ensuring that the government’s agenda of decentralisation is seamlessly implemented, since the NRDCC will facilitate networking and allow for regional programmes, while respecting the authority and autonomy of RDCs, to be in alignment with the overarching vision and policy of the administration.
The NRDCC will become an established conduit and key platform for discussions among national, regional and local leaders.
The ceremonial opening of the one-day meet was followed by the Business Session and Caucus Deliberation. Regional Chairpersons were required to detail policy directions and plans for future development of their respective RDC’s for the year, discuss specific issues of national importance and arrive at resolutions report on challenges, lesson learnt and success stories and development in the region and propose policy recommendations to strengthen the system of regional administration.
By: Alexis Rodney
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