In keeping with having an open government and having the citizens of the country informed about his ministry’s progress, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said that by the end of 2017 the ministry would have completed 60 outreaches in various communities in every region.
Speaking to Stabroek News on Thursday, Trotman said, “We’ve been moving around …in and out of Georgetown, and we have been trying to cover all the regions and as many communities over the course of this year.” Trotman was speaking in Lethem, after having completed the tenth outreach, and also pointed out that he plans to hold a maximum of another 50 for the remainder of the year.
With reference to the feedback from and discussions with citizens during the outreaches, Trotman said he was delighted since persons have been responding positively.
“…And people have a right to know and this is really a form of government where we bring information to people so that they know what is happening and as we all realize, politics is local and so people are taking the opportunity to share with us their own local community concerns,” Trotman said.
He pointed out that while some of the issues that are raised at the outreaches are not directly pertinent to his ministry, at the end of the day he is a minister of the government and cabinet and it is his duty to represent the government wherever he goes.
“And so I have a list and I work on some wherever I can and I pass to my colleagues those that are outside my areas of responsibilities,” he said, while pointing out that the ministry has also been receiving requests from various communities to hold outreaches.
At his outreach in Lethem, Trotman was able to make presentations to a gathering of regional Toshaos as well as the normal citizenry. During his presentation, which lasted for approximately an hour, Trotman showed a PowerPoint presentation about the progress of the ministry during 2016 and its plans for 2017.
Included in the presentation was the progress of the oil and gas sector, which Trotman had related to the gatherings that even though they are far away from the oil find, it will still drastically affect them. Trotman explained to the groups why the find was important and how they would benefit from it in the coming years. He stressed on the development of the sovereign wealth fund and its importance.
During the questions and answers segment, most of the queries were related to mining at the Marudi Mountain and an ongoing issue between local miners and the Romanex Company, which he said was being worked out as the ministry was still in the process of procuring new lands for the miners.
Last month Trotman had held a similar outreach at the University of Guyana where he made a similar presentation.