“Policy making is not guesswork’ – Ali condemns critics who put politics over development


By Kurt Campbell


President Irfaan Ali on Friday defended his government’s policies, saying it has done much more to foster development and support the private sector when compared to the ‘bad policy making’ of the former APNU+AFC government which he said has proven detrimental for Guyana.

Dr. Ali was at the time observing the massive expansion of Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI) with the commissioning of two new berths and a crane at the Houston, East Bank Demerara facility.

Dr. Ali said the occasion and the successes of the company, now an employer of almost 700 Guyanese, reminded him of political efforts to thwart the project.

He singled out plans to land the new Demerara Harbour Bridge across the facility and stop the development of the shore base.

“Do not forget this, let us not forget this.”

Speaking to GYSBI’s Executive Director, Robin Muneshwer, Dr. Ali said “Robin, you celebrate today but I’m sure there was a time when you and your management team had sleepless nights. What would push planners to even think about passing a bridge across such a facility?”

The Head of State said thankfully the country has journeyed pass that but noted that when he became President in August 2020, he found out that Muneshwer and other local developers along the coastline were waiting for almost three years for their permits to be reviewed and approved.

“We fixed it in months and had this facility and many other facilities along the coast completed,” he noted to rousing applause.

Dr. Ali made the point that bad policymaking is detrimental to the life of a country, people, and companies and said his government’s policymaking is not guesswork but targeted work.

Just by granting the permits, Dr. Ali said, “we unlocked an investment of $25 billion” while noting that failure to approve the permits earlier resulted in GYSBI incurring 20 per cent more in the capital cost to build the facility.

To this end, he drove home the point of the importance of predictability in policymaking to keep investor confidence while noting that his policies are crafted with precision, delicately and with structure.

“I assure you there is no guessing about what we are doing.”

Dr. Ali further demonstrated how people have chosen politics over development to the detriment of the country’s economic advancement.

He said although Muneshwer had passed every test, he was denied a loan for the facility with one veto vote.

“The proposal was A+, the financials A+, the environmental A+, the presentation A+… and if we continue to injure ourselves as a country in the way we present this sector, we are making it more and more difficult for local companies to get the financing to build this sector,” Dr. Ali added as he encouraged all Guyanese to be apart of the debate dominated by a few naysaying political figures.

He touched also on the lopsided oil contract which were inherited by his government and reiterated that he will honour the contracts but seek out better terms in the future.

And criticisms of his gas-to-energy project were dismissed as political mischief. Dr. Ali said it is the same mischief that prevented Guyanese from reaping the benefits of hydroelectricity.

He said criticism of the government should never be a choice for politics over development.

Dr. Ali reminded that both the Local Content Act and the Natural Resource Fund Act were presented and passed by his government in the National Assembly.

He promised that the government will continue to implement policies with depth and foresight to move the country, specifically the oil and gas sector forward.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.