Press Release – Citizens of Leguan to see major improvements before the end of the year -President Ali
– $106M invested from Infrastructure
– $70M invested from Local Government
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has assured the residents of Leguan, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) that they will benefit from a wide range of programmes and projects before the end of the year, in critical areas including health care, education and infrastructure.
The Head of State made this announcement during his address to residents on Sunday.
President Ali also visited several other communities in Region Three and Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) during a community engagement exercise where he was accompanied by Government Ministers including the Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development the Hon. Nigel Dharamlall; National Security Advisor, Captain Gerry Gouveia and the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess.
“My brothers and sisters, whether you are nurses, teachers, public servants, rice farmers, labourers, sea defence workers; whether you are a doctor or an army chief, whether you are a military officer, you are all equal in the eyes of your President and your Government, and you will be treated equally. Rest assured we are working every day and every night to bring benefits to your lives. That is our commitment to the people of this country,” President Ali said, as he addressed the residents.
The President pointed to several important projects which the Government has invested in making a reality; these include improving the supply of electricity to the island, and more importantly, the reduction in the cost of electricity.
He said, “We are working on improving the power supply now. However, before the end of year four, you can rest assured that your electricity bill will be cut by half under this Government. We will ensure that every community is equipped with street lights. I come here as your President, and we come here as your Government to remind you of these things. People will say those were campaign promises, but I am here to tell you that these are the commitments that your Government will deliver to you in these five years.”
He noted too that there will also be improvements in the healthcare facility on the island, while he assured to address concerns over the working condition of the x-ray machine there.
In addition, the President announced that the Private Sector is also playing a key role in bolstering the capacity at the health facility on the island.
He explained, “A son of the soil, Mr Tony White has asked me to communicate to the people in Leguan that his family will be investing into the Leguan hospital to improve it and to bring it into top-notch condition. That is a son of the soil here. He will be spearheading this. These are the types of initiatives that will improve life.”
Meanwhile, the Head of State also said that $3.5M has been allocated to the improvement of the Post Office and the facilities there which are used by pensioners.
“When I was here the last time, I was told that the pensioners have to go and line up for their pension without seating accommodation, no proper shed, and they are there exposed to the elements…We have some special funds to be allocated to the improvement of that facility, for a proper shed, sanitation facility, and seats so that our pensioners can be taken care of properly,” President Ali announced to resounding applause from the residents gathered.
In outlining the importance of fostering youth development, the President noted too that community grounds will be upgraded to the tune of $1.5M. In addition, efforts will be made to improve the facility at the computer lab on the island.
He also announced the rejuvenation of the business incubation initiative for small farmers, which will assist young people in going into business and in advancing their technical education.
“We can train young people to go into the new areas of development because there will be many new technical areas that will be opened up for development,” the President said.
The President assured that there will be many more opportunities for youth development, particularly through the Government’s scholarship programme.
He explained, “I want to assure you that we have already launched 1000 scholarships, but next year we are going to start in a big way, to make a dent into the 20,000 scholarship promise we made. By next year, we will have more than 4000 scholarships available to the young people of this country and by the end of the term, 20,000 new scholarships for young people in this country.”
He used the opportunity to remind the residents of the relief measures recently announced in the emergency budget including the removal of value-added tax on electricity and water, on agrochemicals, equipment, and machinery, which are all vital relief measures, particularly in farming communities. At the same time, he pointed to the benefits of the $25,000 COVID-19 cash relief grant.
“I want to tell you that we are committed to every single promise in the manifesto and we will be back constantly,” he added.
The GDF Chief of Staff told the residents that he will be working closely with the communities towards the development of the country, as is the vision of President Ali.
This collaboration, he explained, will be facilitated through the National Cadet Corps programme as well as through the Army Reserve programme; this will see the involvement of youths in various communities across the country.
“We will ensure that the youths in the community will be very involved in developing your community… We assure you that your inputs in working towards developing the country will be well taken. I look forward to your cooperation and the GDF, as part of the government arrangements, will be here and we will work with you,” Brigadier Bess stated.
Infrastructure and Regional Development
Meanwhile, Public Works Minister, the Hon. Juan Edghill pointed to critical infrastructure improvements to the island’s sea defence and road networks. Towards this end, he announced that $106M has been earmarked for capital development on the island over the next three months.
In his remarks to the residents, the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, the Hon. Nigel Dharamlall explained that in addition to what the other ministries have allocated under their work programmes, his Ministry, will be investing an additional $70M in Leguan over the next three months. Some of the funds will go towards the provision of solar street lights to enhance safety and security on the island.
“Leguan is very important to us, and we have to provide investment on the island. From the Ministry of Local Government, we will also be making some critical investments in this island to enhance lives,” he said.
All the residents gathered were reminded of the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 protocols and encouraged to play their part in curbing the spread of the virus.