Residents of the East Berbice-Corentyne region will soon be able to forgo travelling to Georgetown to uplift their passports. A Passport and Immigration Office is being constructed at Garrison Road, Fort Canje, Berbice.
Speaking at the sod turning ceremony at the proposed site on Saturday, Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, stated that the establishment of the new passport office in the Region Six area aims to bring the delivery of passports services to residents within their area.
According to Minister Felix, the idea of extending the critical Passport Service to the Region is part of a wider initiative to extend such service across Guyana.
The idea stems from a pledge made by President David Granger to decentralise and bring all critical services to the people instead of having everything being centralised in Georgetown.
He said that this is also part of the idea of the President to have towns in each region and New Amsterdam being a town, such services is necessary.
He said, “It is with your comfort in mind that such improvements in the efficiency within the immigration department, as well as the decentralisation, are being undertaken.”
Minister Felix said the idea is to reduce lengthy lines at the Georgetown Passport Office. He assured with the construction of the building, quality services will be delivered to persons in the region.
He spoke of the improvements within the immigration sector over the past two years. He added that the government is in the process of digitalising all of its services, including the immigration department.
Construction in Linden will begin shortly. The Minister is pushing for mechanisms to be in place for the establishment of Passport and Immigration Offices in Bartica, Anna Regina and Mahdia in 2018.
Mayor of New Amsterdam, Winifred Heywood, expressed satisfaction with the Berbice project. “I am not only pleased with this project, I am also pleased with all the developments in this town,” Heywood remarked.
Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Abena Moore; Commander ‘B’ Division, Assistant Commissioner Lyndon Alves; and other dignitaries.
The construction is a Ministry of the Presidency Project. The office is being built at a cost of $57.5M The contractor is M and P Investment Company.
Contractor, Pierre Walcott said that workers are already on site and the project has already started with de-bushing taking place at the moment.
Jobs will be provided for at least 25 persons, most of whom will come from right in the area. The building is expected to be completed by April 2018.
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