May 30, 2015 News
As the new government faces early criticisms, President David Granger is saying that not all critics are speaking from an informed standpoint and are therefore misguided in their criticisms.
During a recent interview with the media at the Ministry of the Presidency, Granger was faced with questions regarding the number of appointed Ministers. He was asked to respond to critics who condemned the renaming of Ministries without consultations.
Granger responded that Guyana now has 15 Ministries which he pointed out is less than those in the previous administration. “It is the amalgamation of some Ministries that might have created concern. As far as the names are concerned, I have explained that some of the changes in the Ministries were to emphasize the function.”
He said that for example, the Ministry of the Presidency always existed. “It was named the Office of the President; it is just that I find it necessary to have a Minister (Joseph Harmon) who will continue to act authoritatively to ensure that cabinet decisions are implemented throughout the government service.”
Turning his attention to the Ministry of Local Government which he renamed Ministry of Communities; Granger said that the new name represents the changes his government wants to make.
“We are not simply building houses or roads; we are building communities where human beings live and so it was renamed to emphasize the human aspect of Local Government. We want to see a place where human beings live, not just a collection of buildings.”
Granger said that his government has all intentions to install sporting and cultural facilities, “the type of things that form community life which is sometimes absent in housing schemes.”
Stressing that the new names are “pretty self-explanatory” the President said that as far as Public Security is concerned, the new name fits what he cares about. “What does Home Affairs mean? Home Affairs is an old title which was taken from the British Empire. They had Foreign Affairs which dealt with international matters… but we do not have an empire so why do we call it Home Affairs?
The President continued, “I am concerned with public security, so as far as I am concerned (Ministry of) Public Security makes more sense than Home Affairs.”
Granger said that “people may differ” but there is nothing strange or nothing that needed major consultations. “Public infrastructure means infrastructure for public use for the public good. We are building roadways bridges…You prefer me to call it public works…”
Granger acknowledged that he has been hearing lots of criticisms “but some of it is not necessarily well informed.”
In speaking about the Ministry of Indigenous People, Granger said that persons in the Indigenous communities indicated that they wanted to be called indigenous as opposed to Amerindians.
“So I do consult. I consulted with the Amerindians and many of these things are commonsensical,” said Granger.
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