Irfaan Ali sworn in as new Minister of Housing and Water
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PEOPLE’S Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Mr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali was sworn in yesterday as the new Minister of Housing and Water by President Bharrat Jagdeo in the Credentials Room of the Presidential Secretariat, New Garden Street, Georgetown.

Ali’s expected appointment follows the departure a few months ago of the previous Minister of Housing and Water Mr. Harrinarine Nawbatt to serve as Guyana’s Ambassador to Brazil.

Newly appointed Minister of Housing and Water, Mr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali (fourth from left) with President Bharrat Jagdeo. Also in photo from left are his parents – Mrs. Bibi Shariman and Mr. Mohamed Osman Ali, and his lovely wife Mrs. Nafeeza Ali. (Cullen Bess Nelson photo)

The new Minister took his Oath of Office yesterday before several Government officials and members of the media. His proud family members were also present, including his wife Nafeeza and his parents Mrs. Bibi Shariman and Mr. Mohamed Osman Ali.

The new Minister pledged to uphold the Constitution of Guyana, to serve as the Minister of Housing and Water and to act fairly and justly in his ministerial capacity.

Prior to his appointment, Ali held several post in various Government departments.

In an invited comment, shortly after taking the Oath of Office, on what his focus will be as Minister of Housing and Water, Ali said that the foundation has already been laid at the Ministry and noted that his task will be to build on that by ensuring that housing and water services are delivered efficiently and effectively to all the people of Guyana.

“The PPP/C government has always kept this high on its agenda…and not only providing housing and water but providing quality housing and water for the people of Guyana,” he declared.

“There is a lot of work that has already been done and we have to continue pressing forward,” the new minister maintained.

He said that emphasis will be placed on occupation of allotted house lots and the development of the water sector. Recently the Ministry secured a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to improve housing services in the country.

He pointed out, “There are a lot of housing schemes and we have to get the people to go and occupy the housing areas to take up their lots that they have been allocated.”

Asked about some of his experiences that he brings to this position, the new – and youngest member of the Cabinet replied, “I am presently the National Programme Coordinator of all Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded projects.”

“Of course, we have funded a number of projects in the water sector under the Basic Needs Trust Fund so I am very acquainted with the water sector. I also chaired one of the project steering committees on the low income housing settlement programme and the European Union (EU) funded project, the Low Income Settlement (LIS) programme…so I have a lot of experience also in the field of State Planning during my days as an Economic Planner; the housing and water sector was one of the ministries that fell under my purview,” Ali also stated.

Alluding to some of the priority areas he will be tackling in his new portfolio, Ali noted, “There are a number of priorities…the foundation is already set, the foundation is there and we have a very elaborate housing and water programme. It is to deliver that service to the people as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible.”

Ali’s qualification includes a Masters Degree from the Institute of Applied Manpower Research in Delhi, India; Project Management Professional designation; Post graduate Diploma International Business Management; and BA Hons International Business Management.

Other experience that he brings to the table is that of Program Manager, CDB Funded – Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at the Ministry of Finance; Division Head, Project Cycle Management Division; Member University of Guyana Council; Director, Georgetown Hospital Board Corporation; Director of SILWF (Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund); Member of the Economic Services Committee, Parliament; Member, Public Accounts Committee, Parliament; and President, ITEC Alumni Guyana Chapter; and Central/Executive Member of the PPP; Finance Secretary of the PPP; and Education Secretary of the PPP’s youth arm – the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO). (Priya Nauth)

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