I wanted to see if the Minister of Labour would have been motivated to act after Mr Patrick E Mentore wrote publicly that he was removing himself from all matters of development in the Paradise Housing Scheme.
I for one was amazed that the Chief Cooperatives Development Officer (CCDO) would not remove himself from the active management of the Paradise Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society since it is clearly a conflict of interest to be the manager and reporting to himself in his capacity as CCDO.
It is also my understanding that the Minister committed to an audit of the coop’s affairs but apparently this is being stymied.
I would like the government to know that there comes a time in life when we either put up or shut up, and I think the time is now for the government to stand up and give meaning to its pledge of making cooperatives the means of community development.
I have to wonder the reason for the government’s intransigence in assisting Paradise, so it has a resilient and viable business model that can prosper even during difficult times to prevent many families and communities from sliding into poverty.
We need to note the three main objectives of this International Year of Cooperatives to see the failure of government through its Chief Cooperatives Development Officer.
These are (1) increased public awareness about cooperatives and their contributions to socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; (2) promoting the formation and growth of cooperatives among individuals and institutions to address common economic needs and for socio-economic empowerment; and (3) encourage governments and regulatory bodies to establish policies, laws and regulations conducive to cooperative formation and growth.
The Chief Cooperatives Develop-ment Officer has failed Guyanese time and again by not fulfilling his mandate of promoting and supporting the development of cooperative enterprises in this country. Mr Mentore should not give up. He should stand firm.