Ramotar assures Berbicians of more jobs
President Donald Ramotar on Sunday promised West Berbicians a more modern society, where better jobs will be created for young people and a “new kind of infrastructural development” will take place once his party is re-elected on May 11.
He made the comments while addressing a gathering of around 15,000 at a rally at Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice). He said Guyana was soon to become a country where no one wanted to leave, as its economy continued to grow. However, in order for this to be done, a new kind of infrastructural development must take place, Ramotar noted. He said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was aiming at building a strong and modern economy with all modern facilities available and Guyana will once again became the most developed country in the Caribbean.
Among some of the developmental plans for Berbice is a deepwater harbour to be established in Region Five. This, the President said, will be tied to the road to Lethem which will connect Guyana and Brazil. “This is how Guyana will become an economic hub for the whole Caribbean.”
Ramotar noted that his Administration was pushing to develop the agricultural sector unlike previous administrations. “Under the PNC Administration there were only 11,000 acres under cultivation. We now have over 100,000 acres under cultivation.”
Meanwhile, a free economic zone is to be created in Berbice where jobs will be created for the people of Region Five and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). Cash crop farmers, Ramotar added, are going to benefit tremendously from the deepwater harbour as they will be able to export their produce easily and directly to North America resulting in it reaching its destination fresh. “Our cash crop farmers will be able to have a much better life being able to export their produce right from Region Five.”
Apart from the deepwater harbour, there was also to be a new airport which will assist in exporting produce in a timely manner. This, the President said, is also needed to develop the tourism sector. “The BBC said that people should try to come at least once in their lives to Guyana and we have to put systems and structures in place to ensure that we realise that dream,” he noted.
According to Ramotar, his Administration is also focusing on the physical infrastructure. “Comrades, we are also working on the roads. We have improved the road work tremendously. You can now move very easily to Georgetown with your product and in the areas where there is traffic congestion we have built wider roads so that you can move faster and safer to your designation.”
These are just some of the plans Government has for the next five years. However, Ramotar warned that Government faced the danger of not being able to implement those developmental plans as a result of the machinations of the joint opposition. “We have to stop them at these elections because they have shown what they want to do. They don’t want to pass the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill. The Bill that is designed to fight against organised crime in our country. The Bill will make Guyana’s laws hostile against the criminals. But we must not be surprised about that, because the Opposition has a history of supporting criminal activity,” the President said.
The Head of State said that his Administration has already started investing in the country’s human resources. Under the previous Administration, Ramotar said, only 30 per cent of the country’s children attended secondary school, while today under the PPP/C Administration more than 90 per cent of the country’s children can go to secondary school. “Very soon, every single child will be able to attend secondary school,” Ramotar boasted.
Also speaking at the rally was Prime Ministerial Candidate Elisabeth Harper, who stressed on the need to further develop the social sector which has been receiving the biggest chunk of the National Budget. She said special emphasis will be placed on developing the social well-being of all Guyanese, including women, children, the elderly and the differently disabled. “We will safeguard their life by adopting programmes that will see more protection for our children, providing continued educational programmes and providing support in order to empower our youth.”
Harper noted that the current Administration has recommitted itself to reducing maternal deaths in Guyana. Special programmes will also be implemented to provide assistance to single parents. These will include programmes to allow them to continue their academic studies and to access technical and vocational training. “Programmes will be put in place for the sensitisation of adolescents for them to make the right choices and we will be working with civil groups and faith-based organisations in an effort to reduce suicide.”
According to Harper, the PPP/C Administration will ensure that youths are part of the decision-making process and will have policies in place to ensure this. Harper also touched on the job market, which in some sectors have a closed-door policy for youths. Many of them cannot get employment because employers demand work experience despite one being qualified. However, Harper said policies would be put in place to ensure that employers provide on-the-job training for young persons.