Regional officials signal plans to develop country

Regional Chair and Vice Chairpersons who were sworn-in by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Monday have said that they will work in the people’s best interest.

Barima-Waini (Region One) Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley, told DPI that one of his main tasks is to establish a Regional Agriculture Department since there is vibrant agricultural activity there.

“We want to ensure that our farmers and those who would like to get into agriculture would have those opportunities,” Chairman Ashley said.

Other priority areas include enhancement of the Region’s road network, schools, health facilities and electricity and water distribution, he added. 

In the Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), Chairperson, Mrs. Vilma Da Silva, the Region’s first female Chair, said much emphasis would be placed on the empowerment of women.

As a businesswoman from the agro-processing sector, Mrs. Da Silva said she intends to assist women’s entry to the industry. Building on Region Two’s tourism and youth involvement are also key areas of focus for her.

DPI also engaged Mr. Mohamed Ishan Ayube of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) who said he intends to further the President’s mandate of ensuring no person is left behind during Guyana’s development.

To achieve this, Chairman Ayube stated the regional administration would facilitate the equitable distribution of goods and services, improve the delivery of healthcare, develop the Region’s agriculture sector, advance the standard of education and rehabilitate formerly neglected roads.

Meanwhile, Mr. Daniel Seeram of the Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) signalled his intention to collaborate with the Ministries of Local Government and Regional Development and Health and other stakeholders to encourage adherence to the COVID-19 measures.

Mr. Seeram said many people within the Region are flouting the Government’s regulations, and he committed to partnerships to promote adherence.

For residents of East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) Chairman, Mr. Permaul Armogan maintained his administration would seek to create employment since residents had suffered for years under the APNU+AFC when thousands of persons were put on the breadline following the closure of the sugar estates. 

“As a result of that, we have to be able to attract investments, and we are encouraging our business people to invest. Once investment takes place, employment is going to be created, the economy will get a jumpstart, and so it will be much better than what happened in the last five years,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Kenneth Williams of Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) committed to a “people-centred approach” where residents are consulted before action is taken to develop the Region.

Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) Chairman, Mr. Brian Allicock also said agriculture would play a major role in the Region’s development agenda. Projects being funded in the Region target aquaculture and livestock rearing.

Mr. Deron Adams of Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) said his administration would implement programmes that address the needs of residents.

Regional representatives from the Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) were absent from Monday’s ceremony as that region has not yet elected its officials.

Several Ministers of Government attended the swearing-in ceremony, which was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.