Georgetown, Guyana—(April 9, 2022) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that in a bid to take the Government to the people of Guyana, a massive and active outreach programme will commence.
The President made the statement this morning while he and several cabinet ministers went on a walk-about and interactive session with residents and vendors of the Leonora Market, West Coast Demerara.
President Ali reminded that when he first assumed office in August of 2020, he promised citizens that the Government willstay committed and connected to the people. Although the COVID-19 pandemic hindered large-scale interactions, the cabinet was still able to reach and engage with people all across the country.
With Covid-19 cases dropping, the Government will look to be more interactive.
“I want to assure all Guyanese that what you will see now is an enormous, energetic outreach programme. We don’t want people to come to the Government, we want to come to people, and we are not afraid of doing this because we know our policies are oriented around the development and advancement of every Guyanese.”
The President underscored that the attitude of officials must change and that the Government cannot be “lawmakers in a chair anymore”.
“The people want to feel connected, they want to see these officials on the ground to connect with them, talk to them, be able to interact with them, and that is what we are encouraging.”
The President reminded of the importance of dealing with the issues and problems of ordinary Guyanese. He said that beneficial initiatives by the Government are not fully executed because of the disconnect.
“Unless you are able to connect to people with those initiatives, unless we are able to bring people along with the initiatives and understand from their perspective, their interpretation of the initiatives, then I think you will not get the full results or the full benefit of good policies.”
He emphasised that the Government is committed to making a difference and taking a “bottom-up approach” and “policy informed by reality on the ground” approach.
“We are going to be building a stronger society and an economy that is sustainable.”
SHARED INTEREST AND RESPONSIBILITY
President Ali also noted that as a Guyanese family, the Government and all stakeholders have to come up with a common solution that surrounds shared interest, shared responsibility and shared benefits.
To this end, he said, the Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, the Honourable Dr Ashni Singh, will lead a Ministerial team to the community next week to meet with stakeholders to deal with finance, education, commerce and public work issues among others.
One of the main concerns that the vendors and residents highlighted was the state of the market and its access road.
“We want to propose one huge tarmac and bring everyone on the tarmac and then develop the infrastructure around the tarmac,” the President stated.
He also said that the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, the Honourable Oneidge Walrond, is currently working on an initiative to bring together all of the goldsmiths across the country to reap the benefits of the gold terminal that Guyana will be investing in Barbados. Next week the Minister is also set to meet with all of the goldsmiths in the region for consultations.
The Head of State said that during his interaction with the farmers and vendors, he saw “something amazing in the Guyanese spirit”.
“When you speak to the farmers directly, you hear them saying to you how they are trying to maintain the price and not trying to increase the price.”
He pointed out that the farmers and vendors have difficulties,such as the price of fertiliser and other external factors. To remedy this, the President said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Honourable Hugh Todd, is working on an initiative to address the problem.
“We have been talking to Morocco for a while now to see if we can directly engage them on the issue of fertiliser. We are having some headway now; by July we should have some positive news.”
The President also lauded the vendors and residents for understanding the global issues that are affecting their daily lives.