The fact that Guyanese authorities were not aware of the plans by the Brazilian Federal Government to open the Takatu Bridge is clearly a sign of incompetence, according to People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Executive Member, Aubrey Norton.
Norton said that the nature of the government in Brazil is that there is a Central Government and a Federal Government operating in the bordering states. He explained that there is evidence that while the Central Government operated at one level, the Federal authorities are known to do their own thing, a situation, which has evidently produced its own problems.
Two Mondays ago the press reported that the unceremonious opening of the bridge that links Brazil to Guyana baffled local officials. They were not even aware that such an activity was being undertaken.
According to Norton, he has on more than one occasion warned the ruling party that there was need to be prepared in this regard.
“I said that that building (Customs Office) has to be completed and that there was need for the authorities in Brazil and Guyana to sit down and work out in a systematic way, after the completion of the bridge, how we would proceed.”
Norton added that the PNCR had stressed for a while in Parliament, that Guyana must plan ahead. He recalled in more than one speech that Guyana has to be prepared for the advent of the bridge.
“All the PPP/C was concerned with was saying that the bridge is finished and to appear as if they have a role. Clearly they had no role.”
“Clearly the ad hockery, the absence of planning and the mediocrity that characterises the Jagdeo Government are manifested in the confusion that has occurred. I think if we had a government that understood diplomacy; if we had a government that understands the problems that could have emerged and was prepared to plan we would not have had this problem.”
Norton said that he is of the belief that the completion of the bridge is just the beginning of what is yet to come.
“I have been saying in Parliament that Brazil is prepared but when you are going to drive over this bridge and when you enter Guyana you will have things like bridges but no proper roads. So rather than being the outlet to the Atlantic that we are supposed to be, we are going to become a burden,” Norton stressed.
He urged that Government should take a decision to sit down and in a structured way put in place the infrastructure to ensure that Guyana can benefit from the fact that the Brazilians have constructed a firm Takatu Bridge.
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