THE Government of Guyana, on Friday, handed over tractors and subvention payments to the 14 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), valuing over GY$100 million.
President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, while speaking at the handing over ceremony, said that the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, as well as his ministry, worked very hard to deliver another government promise.
Every NDC would receive a brand-new tractor with hydraulic trailer.
The President noted that these tractors will help to increase efficiency and reliability and he used the opportunity to urge the NDCs and the persons who will hold responsibility for the asset while using it, to do so safely.
“Many times, we have seen NDCs and government agencies on the whole not taking the necessary care with investments the government is making in relation to the assets,” he noted.
The Head of State said that attitude must be discontinued.
“We will have to hold people accountable in the way they utilise government assets, in the way in which they care for the asset because this is the asset of the people and our government is not only investing in asset of the people, but the transformation of the country,” he continued.
President Ali noted that over the last two and a half years, Region Three has seen tremendous transformation, a great expansion of opportunities and the creation of jobs.
“A lot of the work in this region is being led by the Regional Chairman or Vice Chairman but [also] supported by Minister Indar who has ministerial responsibility in this region also,” he stated.
The Head of State added: “He (Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar) has been tasked with visiting every single community, interacting with the communities and connecting government services directly with the communities.”
Meanwhile, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, said that the handing over ceremony is to be viewed as part of a much larger agenda of transformation for the region and more broadly, Guyana.
“As all of you know, since the President assumed the presidency in August 2020, our country has moved on a trajectory of rapid and very visible transformation. This transformation is being seen and experienced in all regions of our country,” Minister Singh explained.
He noted that President Ali has repeatedly made a commitment to Guyanese to advance a rapid transformation and modernisation of the country through major transformative projects while at the same time addressing the local issues and irritants that are of immediate concern.
The finance minister said that Region Three, in a couple of years will be “unrecognisable as a modern region and modern centre of economic activity.”
However, he noted that at the same time, the President recognises that there are local irritants that need to be fixed.
“Issues like community roads, drainage and other local problems and he is committed to ensuring that the local authority, whether it is NDCs, or local officers or agencies have the capacity to discharge their responsibilities efficiently,” he explained.
As such, Minister Singh said that the handing over of the tractors and trailers are to be viewed as an important investment being made to ensure that the NDCs are able to discharge the very important local responsibilities.