Sophia Land scrapped for NTC Headquarters
The Government has abandoned its plan to give Indigenous Village Leaders a plot of land at Sophia for the construction of the Headquarters of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced Friday.
He said instead, it is mulling the possibility of assigning a larger parcel of land belonging to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for this purpose.
“The President [David Granger] in reviewing this felt that the land [at Sophia] was a very small area and would basically just take the building and in discussions with the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs [Sydney Allicock] and he [Allicock] is in discussions with the new Chairman of the NTC [Nicholas Fredericks] about allocating a larger tract of land,” the Minister of State explained.
A few days ago, former NTC Chairman Joel Fredericks blasted the Coalition Government over several “broken promises” including its failure to provide a title for the “promised” land.
Last year, President Granger undertook to provide a plot of land in the Sophia Exhibition Centre to the NTC. There was even a sod-turning ceremony to mark the presidential promise.
But on Wednesday last, Manager of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Durwin Humphrey said a 50 years lease for the land has already been created and has been available “for the longest while” for the NTC to collect.
The then NTC Chairman, after being informed of this development on Wednesday, was expecting to collect the lease today [Friday] and to start the process of construction.
With the change in plan, it is now uncertain how long it will take before the NTC gets a plot of land to construct its headquarters which is expected to be to be a haven for indigenous people to find support and have issues affecting them resolved.