“We must unite if we are to take this country forward” – Min. Jordan

— allowance increases in the health sector were long overdue, other sectors will benefit as more revenues accrue

— additional streetlights for several villages before year-end

— officials from Sustainable Lively Hood Development Programme to visit the community as part of efforts to boost residents’ economic viability, and capacity

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, November 17, 20719

“We must unite if we are to take this country forward.”

This was the advice given by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan at a community meeting hosted in Richmond Village, Essequibo.

Describing his visit to predominantly farming community as a first, the minister said the Essequibo coast reflects the makeup of Guyana, in terms of its ethnic composition.

“We can have many resources, natural and other, human and otherwise but it will mean nothing if we continue to fight each other without recognising that we are one thing, Guyanese!”

The Finance Minister continued, “We hail from different beginnings, but we are here… What is wrong is that we continue to fight each other whilst others come in and take our natural resources. United we stand, divided we fall.”

The interactive session featured financial updates by the minister on several investments such as the Berbice Bridge, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), GuySuCo and CLICO.

He acknowledged there have been challenges over the past four years; however, these are being addressed by the Coalition Government, “and we will continue to do so in a sustainable way.”

The explanation of the differences in bonuses and actual salary increases were welcomed by residents, many of whom expressed appreciation to the minister for providing clarity. The allowance increases in the health sector, he said, for example, were long overdue. Other sectors will benefit in a staged manner, and this will be ramped up as more revenues such as from the oil and gas sector, accrue, he further explained.

The minister encouraged the residents to contact their government officials and submit suggestions as to how these revenues should be spent.

“We want that cross-fertilisation of ideas… when it comes to the human face, what is it that we want? Better homes, better salaries, better health care, etc.,” he said.

When a request was made for additional streetlights in several villages, Minister Jordan assured that this will be resolved before the end of the year.

Residents also called for the village’s drains to be cleaned more often. Further, they accused the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of selectively doing works in an attempt to undermine the government’s credibility. The Finance Minister said these issues will be raised, with the relevant ministries and officials for redress.

Upon conclusion of the interactive meeting, Minister Jordan advised the residents to approach the relevant agencies, to help empower youths across the community, in a collaborative effort. In this regard, he committed to having officials from the (SLED) Sustainable Lively Hood Development Programme, visit the community as part of efforts to boost residents’ economic viability, and capacity.

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