Over $21B allocated for sea defence, air and river transport
The government’s historic 2024 budget will target areas including air and river transport as well as sea and river defence.
To this end, a sum of $2.3 billion is allocated towards the completion of a series of airstrips as well as the rehabilitation and maintenance of several others including the Imbaimadai, Kaieteur, Kaikan, and Matthews Ridge airstrips.
The statement was made by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh, during the 2024 budget presentation at the National Assembly on Monday.
Dr Singh stated that rehabilitation and maintenance work on these airstrips commenced last year.
Similarly, he revealed that a tune of $8.1 billion is budgeted to improve the country’s river transport.
This will advance rehabilitation works on a series of vessels inclusive of the MV Malali, and MV Barima to the allotted sum of $450 million.
Some $2.7 billion will also be set aside for the rehabilitation and upgrades of stellings at Parika, Supenaam, and Wakenaam.
The development aims to significantly benefit thousands of citizens traversing those routes while enhancing trade for economic development.
Moreover, the government in 2023 procured a tug to enhance navigational services. Minister Singh said the vessel will arrive in Guyana shortly.
As such, a sum of $950 million has been allocated to support navigational aid interventions.
Meanwhile, in response to the rise in sea levels posing a threat to coastal areas, the government has budgeted a sum of $6.9 billion towards the enhancement of several sea defence structures at Bygeva, Cane Garden, Grove, Uitvlugt, Leguan and Wakenaam among others.
“In 2023, $5.4 billion was expended to upgrade our sea and river defences. Amongst the projects implemented are completed works on our rip-rap sea defence structures across multiple sites, including areas such as Abram Zuil, Anna Catherina, Belvedere, Better Hope, Eversham, Joppa, Speightland and Zeeburg,” Minister Singh reminded.