President says Corriverton has the potential to become a commercial powerhouse
Emphasising the power of local governance and cooperation, President David Granger on Wednesday evening told residents of Corriverton, located in the East Berbice-Corentyne Region (Region Six), that the town has the potential to become a commercial powerhouse.
The Head of State was at the time speaking at a community meeting held at the Corriverton Primary School. He made it clear that the return of Local Government Elections (LGE) in 2016 after a 20-year hiatus provides a powerful opportunity for communities like Corriverton to realise their true potential.
“We are serious about LGE, it is a constitutional right, it is not a favour. You are entitled to it and this is not a matter of win or lose, not a matter of African, Indian, Amerindian, it is a matter of the citizens’ rights and you will exercise those rights for the second time under the APNU administration,” declared President Granger.
He told the residents who gathered at the Corriverton Primary School that the East Berbice-Corentyne Region is “a great region” as it is the only region in Guyana that has three towns, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton.
The President called on the residents to assess the improvements within their communities over the past three years while looking to the future.
“We are aiming at the good life for all the residents of Corriverton,” he said while reminding that Corriverton is a frontline town because of its proximity to neighbouring Suriname.
Of all the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, there are only two states that connect – Guyana and Suriname. As such, President Granger noted that Corriverton is the “face of Guyana to Suriname”.
He described the town as the promotional capital of Region Six and emphasized the need for the town to realise its true potential.
In order to do this, the President said there must be progressive thinking and a clear vision.
“This should be a town which leads other towns in business and commerce across this country. It is a powerful opportunity you have to make this town a commercial powerhouse.”
President Granger noted that despite having the ingredients necessary to have a successful town, there appears to be a setback.
“You have banks, restaurants, places of entertainment, business places, hospitals, schools, markets …you have all the ingredients to become a successful town; what is holding you back?
A weak municipal administration is holding you back …you here have to go out and tell the other villagers of Corriverton that better must come,” he stated.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) he said is leading the charge to ensure Corriverton improves. Local Government is the pathway to democracy, President Granger stated while reminding residents of Corriverton of the need to collaborate.
“Here you sit around the table to discuss what the town needs – solid waste disposal, pure water supply, electricity, playground for children. You cannot allow one person in Fourth Street, Kingston to decide what is good for Corriverton,” he remarked.
The APNU back in 2014 had protested the then Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) party led by former President Donald Ramotar at the time to hold LGE. A series of national protests were held. Prior to 2015, LGE were not held since 1994.
President Granger reminded that it was the only the APNU that protested the installation of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) while adding that “there will never be another IMC”.
“The APNU is committed to local democracy,” he said while pointing to the three ties of government- Central, Regional and Municipal.
“We all have to work together. You the residents of Corriverton have to make those decisions. You must come around the table and decide what is best for Corriverton.
“Look what has happened since the APNU got into government, even though the municipality was not run by the APNU. We have built a beautiful walkway (ramp), constructed a green park, constructed several streets,” said President Granger who made it clear that the APNU has no enemies.
“The APNU only sees Guyanese citizens, Guyanese towns, and Guyanese residents. We are colour blind, we don’t have green and red villages,” the Head of State assured.
Meanwhile, President Granger assured the residents of the East Berbice-Corentyne Region that his administration is continuing its work to ensure that the people of the region are safe and secure. He pointed to the recent piracy attack on the high seas which left several Guyanese fishermen dead.
“I don’t like what happened in Suriname…we care for you, we care for your security,” he said while assuring that every step is being taken to ensure all are safe.
On the sugar front, President Granger reiterated that his government has no intention of destroying the sugar industry. He made it clear that the industry is being reformed and not abandoned.
“We are not abandoning the sugar workers, we promised them their severance pay in two parts, the first in the first part of the year and second, in the second half of the year. I promise you that before the second half of the year, sugar workers will receive their severance pay,” he said.
Moreover, the President stressed the need for villages to become economically independent and pointed to agro-processing in this regard. To ensure changes in Corriverton, President Granger stressed the need for residents to vote at the upcoming November 12, 2018 LGE.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Granger listened to the concerns of the residents and committed to following up on the matters raised in the areas of housing, infrastructural development, education and culture.
Meanwhile, some 20 bicycles were presented to students of the East Berbice-Corentyne Region at the conclusion of the community meeting as part of the President’s Public Education Transport Service (PETS).
Also present at the community meeting were Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally, former General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Mr. Oscar Clarke, Central Executive of the PNCR, ormer Chiefs-of-Staff, Retired Brigadier Edward Collins, and Retired Lt. Col. Larry London, Mr. Kirk Fraser, Chairman of the PNCR Group, East Berbice-Corentyne, Mr. Saidek Zalladin, Vice-Chairman PNCR group, East Berbice-Corentyne and Mrs. Shurla Scott-Richardson, Regional Secretary, PNCR Group, East Berbice-Corentyne. (Ministry of the Presidency)