By Kurt Campbell
During familiarization visits to several agencies he now leads, the new Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal on Thursday assured staff that while there will be restructuring within the Ministry and its supporting agencies, he has no intention to ‘witch hunt’ persons.
He said the People’s Progressive Party Government wants persons who are committed to its cause, policies and programmes.
“I’m not here on witch-hunting… there may be restructuring, there may be reorganizing and that comes as part of our vision and our management but it is not a case that I’m going out there to witch hunt anyone,” Minister Croal told the News Room on Thursday.
Minister Croal said he wants his staff across the agencies to feel comfortable so in turn they can be committed to the task at hand.
“The staff has been very receptive, already they are trying to tell me their challenges for me to resolve them… there are some burning problems that we have to deal with that will cost money,” he added.
To this end, he explained that a needs assessment of the sector along with an assessment of the economy will have to be done urgently to guide the way forward.
“Its work right away, we have to quickly assess what’s happening in this sector… the economy has been struggling and then you have the issues of COVID-19 to grapple with.”
Notwithstanding any future challenges, Minister Croal said he intends to achieve the promises in the PPP’s election manifesto which includes a massive housing drive to deliver 50,000 house lots.
The PPP also promised safe water distribution across the country, removal of taxes on building materials, and the removal of value-added tax on water, all of which Minister Croal recommitted to.
“When we get to presenting our budget I will remind our President about some of the commitment we have made to the people of Guyana,” he added.
Minister Croal has been a part of PPP since he was 18 years old and served in Parliament on behalf of PPP as the geographical representative for Region One and the shadow Minister of Communities under which housing and water were placed.
He also served as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government under the previous PPP government and believes he is now following in the footsteps of President Dr Irfaan Ali who was also Housing and Water Minister.