Norton wants Guyanese to ‘suck salt’ – Minister McCoy
Minister within the office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy
Minister within the office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy

By Cindy Parkinson 
IF Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has his way, Guyana would take a steep plunge into economic ruin. Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Kwame McCoy has rubbished Norton’s unfounded ramblings regarding Guyana’s development transformation and the oil-and- gas sector.

“Surely, if Guyana were to heed the advice or contemplate the little-league leadership of Aubrey Norton and his third-grade advisers, this country would most assuredly fall prey and dinner to not only the ‘Dutch Disease,’ but also the PNC’s rice flour and breadfruit scorn all over again,” Minister McCoy said in a pointed letter to the editor.

The minister challenged Norton’s arguments which suggest that the President, Dr Irfaan Ali-led People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration should abandon “its sound national transformation agenda… [and] halt its exponential build-out of the traditional sectors which the Granger administration utterly degutted and tragically ruined.”

Minister McCoy pointed to Norton’s flawed reasoning that the government should stop infrastructural works such as the construction of new highways, which are also opening up new lands for housing and enterprise.

“Norton wants President Ali to not prioritise a fully rehabilitated highway for the people of Linden, nor the Pan-American Highway to South America that will potentially transform that town into a thriving city.

“He thinks Lindeners do not deserve an industrial estate, nor 1,000 turn-key homes within the first term in office of the government, or the hundreds of millions of dollars in road rehabilitations currently underway,” Minister McCoy reasoned.

He further underscored the importance of citizens in South Georgetown, Belladrum, Buxton and New Amsterdam having access to jobs, proper sanitation, and recreational facilities which are all part of the government’s current thrust for the development of communities across Guyana.

“It is a task of virtual impossibility for Norton to begin to comprehend the very basics of how a country that wants to leapfrog from the outer bands of perpetual poverty to the upper echelons of wealth for all its citizens must prudently and strategically manage its development agenda to achieve constant, exponential, and sustainable growth for both its people and its sector webs concomitantly,” the minister stressed.

Turning attention to painting the image of what the political opposition would do if still in government, Mr McCoy said: “The hopes of its citizens to benefit from free university education by 2025 would be dashed against the exorbitant fees the APNU+AFC introduced and planned to keep increasing;

“The government would spend $60B of oil revenue in one-off payments of $300,000 to each household annually, and condemn them to continue suffering in blackouts, falling waist deep into potholes, receiving only a chest-sounding and a prescription at every hospital and clinic, drinking faecal coliform from their taps, and receiving education on slates under the flickers of flambeaux.

“Because he would see no merit in bringing gas to shore and building hydroelectric plants to halve people’s electricity bills; no refinery; no new hospitals or water treatment plants or modern ‘smart’ schools; no modern sports facilities or new city for that matter; and he certainly would give no cash grants to our children.

“Our sea defences would crumble, our water conservancies would continue washing out the farmers; our loggers and miners would keep paying taxes to use bad roads; our Amerindian brothers and sisters would get no titles for their lands or funds for their development; and our youths would have no forum, resources nor hope to contribute to decision making,” Minister McCoy added, hinting to all the initiatives currently advanced under the President Ali-led PPP/C government.


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