President delivers govt vision

– Ministers react to Head of State’s Parliamentary address

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Several ministers gave their reactions following President David Granger’s address to the 11th Parliament.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes said the Head of State’s address showed the government’s vision and direction, in which it was going, noting that it “was clearly outlined”.

“It showed the level of respect he had for the nation. [Stating] some of the plans coming out of the budget… I think it was a fantastic delivery today. I am proud to be a Guyanese and I’m proud to be a minister,” said Minister Broomes.

The president’s speech was described by Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence as “very focused and on point”.

“It gave direction to what the government has been doing in 2018, and what we propose to do in 2019 among many other things. He set the tone for the 2019 budget to come, giving insight into some of the things we are going to continue to build on,” Minister Lawrence said.

In addition to mentioning health, education and Indigenous affairs, the minister noted the president’s focus on the hinterland and children, particularly the move to ease their transportation challenges. The speech, she further noted, made it clear that things are working, “perhaps not as fast as we would like but the groundwork is being laid for the future. I’m happy that I’m a Guyanese!”

Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott viewed the parliamentary address as “all-encompassing that covered the entire spectrum of what the government has achieved over the last three years.” He added that it brought into focus the need to continue efforts to bridge the gap between the coast and hinterland.

“Our goal is to reach out and make both sides be as one… It was very good and I think everyone will be happy with it,” said Minister Scott.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, in sharing his view, said:

The president’s address highlighted “the coming to fruition of a plan that we started to develop in 2015, laying all the groundwork to ensure that by 2020, the time for ‘first oil’ when we will have the Sovereign Wealth Fund in place,” Minister Patterson explained.

He noted the Cabinet’s decision to ensure that 20 per cent of small and medium contractors/suppliers get procurement contracts.

“This is something that I have been pushing for quite some time… It is the start of the whole local content procedure,” Minister Patterson added.

The address was described by Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge as one which saw President Granger conveying what he deemed to be important to the nation, at this point in time.

“He touched on all the things deemed to be politically important and some of the urgent matters which the public would be happy to hear,” Minister Greenidge stated.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan outlined that the tone was set for what the populace can expect next year.

“At least they understand where we are coming from and where we are going. I hope the public will have a better appreciation for the policies of the government… With the coming of oil…. That is going to play a major role in the economy, it [the budget] is going to centre around transforming the economy for sustainable development and green growth, all towards the objective of the good life,” Minister Jordan noted.

Paul Mc Adam.

Image: Jameel Mohammed.

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