‘Work for the cause not the applause’ – Min. Allicock tells North Rupununi leaders

At North Rupununi District Development Board meeting

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 4, 2019

The need for Indigenous village leaders to be more proactive and forward-thinking in order to advance the development of the hinterland, was emphasised by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock.

The minister was addressing Toshaos and Senior Councillors on May 2, at the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) meeting at Bina Hill, North Rupununi, Region 9.

“Work for the cause of the people, not the applause. That is your duty, you have a responsibility to work for the people who elected you,” Minister Allicock told the village leaders drawn from some 17 villages in the North Rupununi.

The NRDDB meeting serves as community stakeholders forum where village leaders, heads of government agencies and organisations meet quarterly to discuss issues and concerns, exchange ideas and solutions, and plan the way forward for community development.  According to Minister Allicock, it is time for leaders to stop planning and start acting on those plans.

“We need to see actions within the communities. We need to see cottage industries and job creation in your communities and agriculture projects. What do you have in place to tackle teenage pregnancy and security, are you managing your resources properly? These are things we need to see within the communities.”

Stressing the need for communities to work in unity, Minister Allicock noted the need for more agriculturalists and less politicians. He called on the village leaders to “lift each other up.”

He also addressed the issue of management and accountability at the level of village councils and pointed out that ‘for too long, there has been mismanagement of public funds.

“What would be your legacy when you leave office, do you want the people to say that you were bad and mismanaged village funds, or would you want people to say that were a very good man/woman that worked for the people… when you leave office, the next council must be able to move on with their job efficiently; your financial books and assets must be in order, accountability is very important.”

Minister Allicock also took the opportunity to apprise the participants of some of the development in the pipeline for Region 9, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo including the Bina Hill Green Enterprise Developing Centre, the Agriculture Research Centre, and the Linden to Lethem road project. A food processing facility will also be constructed in the Annai area.

Additionally, the leaders were updated on the reshuffling of ministers and the new swearing in of Members of Parliament (MPs).

Synieka Thorne.

Images: Anil Seelall.