Region Two earmarked to become special zone – President
– as he outlines development plans for region
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has outlined a comprehensive development plan for the Pomeroon/Supenaam Region with focus on areas such as tourism, security, health, technology, services, education, agriculture, energy and sports.
The plan was outlined by President Ali, as he delivered the feature address at the official opening of the new $200 million Jaigobin Hotel in Anna Regina.
He said that government will soon table legislation that will see Region Two becoming a special development zone.
The Head of State noted that government is investing heavily in fibre optic, and highlighted those negotiations are ongoing to establish call centres in several regions, including Region Two. This will create 500 jobs in that region.
“ICT is going to be an integral part of the investment platform… We will be creating learning hubs for the GOAL Scholarship so right here you can complete your degree programmes. Before the end of the first term, we promise to deliver free UG education and the ICT will allow us to do that even faster,” President Ali asserted.
In the area of infrastructure, President Ali said government will be opening up 10,000 acres of new land with the construction of more farm- to- market roads in the region.
“We are going to upgrade what we have here… We intend to have every single street in this country lit up so you can live in a more secure environment.”
The President assured residents that government will spend every single cent to bring first class primary health care to all Guyanese. He said in the next budget, they can anticipate major developments in the health sector, which includes a state -of- the- art hospital.
Creating safe communities countrywide is a manifesto promise the government is working to realise. With that, residents of Region Two were informed by the President that government will be expanding its safe city programme to a safe country programme.
“Soon you will see CCTV cameras… The command centre will be located right here in Region Two. It is part of the decentralisation of the security sector. This means at least 50 young people will have to be trained to man that command centre,” he said.
President Ali also announced that a full-fledged stadium will be constructed in the region that will be able to host both regional and international cricket. The structure, he noted, will also have an indoor facility to accommodate other sports such as badminton.
The Pomeroon/Supenaam region, President Ali said, has tremendous tourism potential. He said government is developing a package that will allow the region to sell its green tourism product. Sport fishing in the region can also become a major activity provided it is properly packaged.
The President called on persons to stop underselling the tourism potential of the region and assured that once they come with ideas, government will provide support to develop them.
Farmers in the region, the president said, can rest assure that the government will continue to work on their best interests. He said that negotiations are ongoing on a bilateral level to secure fertilisers which are scarce expensive.
Residents can also expect a solar farm very soon, which will produce eight megawatts of energy. Added to that, President Ali reiterated that government is committed to reducing energy cost by 50 per cent.
Additionally, the President said government will continue to invest heavily in education. He said with all the development slated for the region, the human resources to develop it must come from within.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond also made brief remarks lauding the high standard the hotel presents.
“I want to laud you for the standard that you brought into this region. Tourism in Region Two is about to explode… I can see this being the base for many tours,” the Minister said.
The hotel boasts 35 rooms and has provided employment for 15 full time staff, in addition to the 72 already employed by the hotel’s proprietor, Ganesh Jaigobin.
Also present at the ceremony were Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha and National Security Advisor to the President, Jerry Gouveia among other officials of Government.