Apr 24, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – A couple of Ministers are on the move, while there are those still trying to find their groove. Because we want to encourage the current Guyana government on the things that it handles in the right way, we are glad when there is opportunity to hail the positives that are for the better of the citizens of this society. By the same token, we have no choice but to speak out and in the most critical terms, when our Ministers falter, either through inexperience, or from not having the fullest grasp of what their portfolios involve, the extent of their serious nationwide responsibilities. We have an occasion today to speak to all those Ministerial conditions, the good, the encouraging, and the downright out there, through the inexplicable.
First, the Hon. Minister of Social Protection, Dr. Vindya Persaud, has prioritised providing senior citizens with a seamless, as near as hassle free, delivery of routine services falling under her ministry. Because those routine services to pensioners are monthly, any enhancements represent a welcome situation for our elders, who dread the long lines and waiting, the fear of random banditry, and the worries about exposure to the virus. Many of them live with some chronic disease, which leaves them weak and ill suited to deal with scorching sun, pouring rain, racing minibus. So, it was good that pensioners are able to receive their monthly payments in an existing account at a commercial bank of their choice. That the newest enhancement is for this to be available in the first week of the payment month is something that could make a difference to Guyana’s more than 58,000 age qualifying pensioners.
Also, the Minister and ministry clearing the air about taxes not being withheld from pensions is even better. And further, that payments could be received at Western Union and MoneyGram centres in seven of Guyana’s 10 Administrative Regions is an added development that is sure to be well-received by pensioners, since those spread collection of pensions beyond the Post Offices, where monthly monies continue to be paid out. Minister Persaud informed the public that a quarterly Life Certificate would be needed, with a signature and stamp (almost like a passport form) from recognised Guyanese, such as a medical doctor, Justice of the Peace, or Minister of religion. The latter category should make signature and stamp easier, since most Guyanese, especially elderly ones, have longstanding relationships with priests and pastors, Moulvis and pandits. Still, we recommend to Minister Persaud to extend that quarterly Life Certificate requirement to semi-annual. That seems like a more practical alternative, given age considerations.
The second positive came from the Hon. Minister of Education, Priya Manikchand, who took a contractor to task with respect to the incomplete state of the Good Hope Secondary School. Her choice of words, “wholly unacceptable” and “we cannot tolerate lengthy delays on projects” is music to our ears, and was sharp enough to get the tardy contractor to bring up the completion of the project from August to May 22, 2021. We like that kind of no-nonsense language, and that unmoving posture: get moving, and get the job done now. Delays are normal, but not for 15 months beyond what started out as a 15-month project. That is inexcusable and, like Minister Manikchand laid it out, “wholly unacceptable.”
It was encouraging to hear the Hon. Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, rail at the Chinese company engaged to complete the CJIA extension project, for failing repeatedly (and expensively) to deliver on its contractual obligations. That company made a mockery of the Minister and Guyana, by delaying further and coming up with more of what Minister Manikchand did term “wholly unacceptable.” We are waiting on Minister Edghill to learn the latest developments with that airport project, and for him to throw the book at that contractor and get them out of there and here. We also learned compliments of Minister Edghill and his junior Minister, Deodat Indar, about the $17 million needed to fix a broken bridge in Lethem. Somebody should be made to pay those millions and it is not the taxpayers, since an overloaded truck was responsible. The message to be sent is, play by the rules or pay up. Or don’t use the roads.
Last, there was the not so good, the downright mystifying, to put it bluntly, from the Hon. Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Ms. Oneidge Walrond, when she said that it was “safe to travel” to Guyana for ecotourism purposes. Once they travel locally to hinterland destinations in their bubbles, all should be safe. We wonder what kind of bubble the Minister lives in for her official habitat and existence. We have cases spiking, variants appearing, and government not disclosing, and the Minister assures that it is “safe to travel.” Surely, she cannot be serious! If she is, then it is an appalling lack of putting arms completely around the numerous menaces and exposures involved with the COVID-19 virus. It might have been better if she had just marketed and kept on the sidelines in silence. We appreciate and applaud the positives, we criticise the negatives.
May 07, 2021Kaieteur News – Golf continues to make great strides in Guyana but especially in Leonora, West Coast Demerara as the Leonora Secondary School receives approval for establishing an onsite Golf...
May 07, 2021
May 07, 2021
May 07, 2021
May 06, 2021
May 06, 2021
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – US President, Joseph Biden’s address to a Joint Session of the US Congress... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]