-President Ali tells Agricola residents
DURING an impromptu visit to the East Bank Demerara community of Agricola on Sunday morning, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali told residents that they are part of the government’s transformation plans for Guyana.
Scores of residents warmly welcomed President Ali, who in his usual style, took the time to listen to individual concerns before sharing his message of the government’s eagerness to work with residents to find solutions to their respective issues.
“This morning I am here with a very simple message. That is a message that we are unified together, we must work together, we must uplift each other together, and we must respond to each other,” the Head of State said.
“I want to thank all of you for coming out this morning on very short notice. We are here this morning on our journey to develop Guyana. Every single community, every single life matters to us. That is why this morning we want to talk development, progress, and about the advancement of our community,” he said.
The President was accompanied by a contingent of government officials which included members from the Men on Mission (MoM) initiative, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Todd. Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken, members of the private sector and several sporting personalities were also present.
President Ali stressed that the government’s vision for improvement in the Agricola community included the participation of the private sector and civil society, guided by the critical involvement of the residents of the community.
“Are we together?” President Ali asked. The gathering responded with resounding agreement.
“We want to do this with an engagement of the community itself. We want the people of this community to be part of the work to improve the community. It creates more ownership; it is your community [and] you will want to see it done better.”
Residents used the opportunity to raise concerns about a range of issues which mainly pertained to the roads, drainage and the health centre. Some expressed the desire to see more done for the youths in the community.
Aside from dealing with concerns raised by the residents, President Ali encouraged residents to work along with the government to make the most of initiatives so as to ensure the improvement of the social welfare and their wellbeing.
“We want to hear from you what the gaps are, and how we can help in filling those gaps. How we can ensure that all our children stay in school. How [you] can …support the ambition of the government to have every single child completing education and completing school. How can we get more persons on the scholarship programme,” the President said.
The President also took the time to speak about the labour shortage that is currently facing the country in the construction sector. During his time in the community, he urged unemployed persons to take up jobs in the sector.
He also informed the gathering that the government is willing to work alongside interested residents to provide the required training for those persons so that they can become skilled workers.
“Then we can get you employed in the massive housing development that is taking place,” the President said.