Finance Min. lambastes ‘pompozetting’ APNU+AFC over motion on land-use policy


A motion by APNU+AFC Parliamentarian, David Patterson, which wants the government to put in place a land-use policy for shore bases, has called into question its term in government, one that Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, believes was characterised by ineptitude and incompetence.

The motion, which was debated and later lost, when put to a vote in the National Assembly on Thursday night, was described by Dr. Singh as “nothing but rank political opposition.”

“I can’t believe the arguments that are being made by a party that spent the last five years in government. They believe as they appear now, in their current incarnation, that a land-use policy is so important… what were they doing for the last five years? Dr. Singh questioned.

During his presentation on the David Patterson Motion, Dr. Singh said the APNU+AFC has already missed its opportunity to put a land-use policy in place.

“They just spent five years in government and left nothing to show for it except green painted buildings… green frivolity… they left absolutely no policy of any significance.

APNU+AFC Parliamentarian, David Patterson

“You left no new legacy except one of disrepair and disgrace and you come and stand up and dare to lecture this House and country on how important a land-use policy is?” Dr Singh lamented.

In calling for the motion to be rejected, Dr. Singh said the mere formulation of the document has pointed to the ineptitude and incompetence that characterised the Coalition’s time in government.

This, Dr. Singh said, constitutes a fundamental misunderstanding.

“A land use policy specifically for the oil and gas sector? By definition, a land-use policy cannot focus on particular sector… there are alternative, competing complementary uses for land… nothing could better illustrate the incompetence and ineptitude of the APNU+AFC,” he added.

Dr. Singh said in addition to grandstanding, the APNU+AFC was basically ‘pompozetting’ itself in the House.

“You sit down in government for five years, out of which you were squatting illegally for two years, and did nothing but painted buildings green,” he added.

Recalling its history in and out of government, Dr. Singh said the coalition’s explicit design has been to frustrate development in Guyana.

He said Patterson, the former Minister of Public Infrastructure, cannot demonstrate a single effort, during his term in office, to put land-use policy in place.

To make his point on the duplicitous nature of the coalition, the Finance Minister recalled the signing bonus, which he said they lied repeatedly about while being fully aware that the bonus was already received with plans afoot for its use.

Dr. Singh went further, telling the House that he spent time searching the APNU+AFC manifesto of 2015 and 2020 and could not find a single reference to land use policy.

Contrast that with the PPP manifesto in 2020, it clearly speaks to the establishment of a formal inter-agency mechanism for the purpose of coordination among sectors that will address inter-sector issues regarding land use policy; one with a regional dimension and which harmonises residential and commercial interests.

“But now as soon as they are in opposition, as soon as the people rightfully confine them to the opposition, they suddenly embrace the virtues of a land-use policy.”

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