National events are occasions for the country and Guyanese people to feel pride and patriotism and the events must, therefore, be planned and executed in such a manner.
These feelings are expressed and felt by all Guyanese says, President David Granger, as he established the Department of National Events on Monday at the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP).
Tasked with the planning and execution of all national events in the country, the department will be headed by Colonel Nazrul Hussain of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
Col. Hussain in an invited comment expressed honour by the responsibility bestowed on him as he vouched to ensure that all events under his watch, are executed in an efficient manner, one in which Guyanese will be proud.
“I am elated to be selected to head the Department of National Events as was established in the meeting today and the President based on the previous events, would like us to do things with a better flare, with the watch word being excellence,” he continued.
He added that “this department was established to standardise all of our national activities and to execute all national activities with excellence in mind. It will entail having a dairy, which reflects all of the national events and observances and to plan and execute some of the traditional and some new ones that we will be working on and to ensure that we have a manual of standards that we can refer to ensure that there is no deviation from the standard of excellence that we are going to establish.”
The shortfalls in the State events to meet expected standards were significantly exposed during the recent jubilee celebrations. Following the flag raising ceremony on May 26 where the mix-up of seating arrangements lead to the political opposition walking out of the ceremony; to the Jubilee night event where the program was criticized for ‘lacking imagination’, several calls were made for the establishment of an events committee.
The Head of State noted that national events, especially of a large magnitude, require extensive coordination and collaboration among a number of Ministries and Government agencies, thus highlighting the importance of someone assuming specific responsibility for these events.
According to the Head of State the government wants to ensure that national and international events are done and performed to a very high standard and there has to be a high level of coordination as well. Many of these events involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education which has responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of the Presidency, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure [and] the Ministry of Communities.
“So you need somebody who can coordinate the work of the various Ministries in ensuring that these public events are done at the highest possible level so we felt that it would be good for us to have that function within the Ministry of the Presidency,” he said.
The president believes that “public events are important for our political culture, for our national identity; who we are and my expectations are that Guyanese must feel proud of their national symbols, monuments, their national festivals. We want to ensure that this feeling permeates Guyanese at all levels and in all of the regions and my expectations are that Guyana will emerge more unified and more proud of their identity, history and heritage than ever before.”