Aug 07, 2020 Letters Comments Off on Youthful Cabinet welcomed but needs tweaking
Let me congratulate the President. The mostly youthful cabinet is welcomed. But there is some mismatch in experience and academic qualifications as the outpouring in social media indicates.
For example, it would seem that the young Ramson would have been better placed in the Ministry of Natural Resources where his legal and oil and gas training is crucially needed. Mr. Vickram Bharrat would be better put in charge of a Ministry relating to IT and computer related works. Hugh Todd was a UG lecturer in Business with no background in Foreign Affairs that needs the assistance of scholars; he might have been better placed in trade.
More glaring is the non-appointment of long time youthful stalwarts of the party. For example, Dharamkumar Seeraj would be an asset in the Ministry of Agriculture that he shadowed while in the opposition. He was a champion of protecting the ballot boxes and monitoring the count.
Everyone thought Seeraj would be an automatic choice given his background and his struggle championing the farming community among whom he is extremely popular because of his years of service to the agriculture sector. The Agriculture Ministry is perhaps the largest, and it has traditionally benefited from two Ministers – Pandit Reepu and Sash Sawh, Ramsammy and Ali Baksh, and Holder and Patterson. This Ministry holds the long-term economic salvation of Guyana as best positioned, aside from oil, for growth in the economy. It must be made vibrant through heavy investment with short term oil revenues for improved and expanded agriculture investments.
Seeraj held positions at NDIA, RPA, GRDB and is a most trusted PPP loyalist literally grown up in Freedom House. The time has come for him to be challenged with contributions at the highest level of decision-making. He is well equipped to assist the Agriculture Ministry by taking responsibility for the rice sector with associated Drainage and Irrigation infrastructure and allow for Mr. Mustapha to concentrate on revamping the sugar, livestock, and other crop sectors.
Agriculture is a critically important Ministry with enormous undertaking and responsibilities given the dire condition of agriculture in the country, depressed world markets, and climate change impacts. And the skills of Seeraj would be a great asset to assist Mr. Mustapha. Similarly, it would be a clever strategic appointment to have Dr. Jagdeo head the Finance Ministry. No one is more qualified than him for that post. Even his worst detractors would be hard pressed to criticize his appointment.
Some tweaking and additions as suggested above would improve the working of this cabinet and overall governance.
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