President Ali calls out APNU+AFC for its ‘opportunistic’ demands for carbon credit payouts
President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has stated that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government has consistently provided support to the Amerindian people of Guyana.
The president made the comments in response to APNU+AFC’s call for an increase in carbon credit payouts to Amerindian villages.
During an address to the nation on Sunday, he expressed his disappointment in what he perceived as the opportunistic and political nature of APNU+AFC’s demands, calling it ‘hypocritical.’
President Ali said during coalition’s time in office, it was responsible for discarding the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which would have seen Guyana earning funds for its forest under the Guyana-Norway agreement.
“This credit that we sold included legacy credit, that is, credit available for the period of time they tossed aside the agreement, where was the commitment then?” he questioned.
Not only did the coalition shelf the LCDS, but President Ali reminded the public that it took away more than 2,000 community service officers’ jobs, resulting in the loss of almost $5 billion from the Amerindian people during its tenure. Additionally, tractors and other equipment were left in disrepair, and ‘not a single’ secondary school was built.
“Where were all voices that so love our Amerindian brothers and sisters. Where were those voices when this great injustice was done to our Amerindian people.
“They spoke about land, not a single new title was processed by the APNU government,” he said.
However, the head of state emphasised that the government is committed to the development and advancement of Amerindians and their communities, as reflected in the annual budgetary allocations and other measures implemented.
In addition to the 15 per cent payment for Amerindian communities, the government continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to improve healthcare, education, and water access, upgrade roads and other infrastructure in Hinterland and riverine communities, President Ali stated.
“So let us not be side tracked from the selfish desires of a bunch that cared nothing about hinterland development…We are committed to the development of all of Guyana. I am committed to working with every single community,” the head of state added.
As part of the historic agreement signed with Hess Corporation in 2022, Guyana will earn US$750 million for its forest, with 15 per cent of that amount, or $4.6 billion (US$22 million), being distributed among the communities. Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had stated that each of the approximately 240 communities will receive no less than $10 million and up to $35 million.