We refer to a letter titled ‘Commission has been ineffectual’ written by Mr Hafiz Rahaman which was carried in your newspaper of August 23rd, 2017.
The National Task Force Commission (NTFC) of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure remains open to useful information from individuals and organizations and has been in contact with the Guyana Consumers Association. Actually we plan to meet with its president Mr Pat Dial early in September with the hope of discussing matters which fall under our purview.
With reference to the Night Shelter (which is under the Ministry of Social Protection) this institution was upgraded to some extent and it now has the capacity to accommodate two hundred persons. Some persons have already been transferred from here to the Hugo Chavez Centre at Onverwagt and soon the Ministry of Social Protection will commence assessing street dwellers in an effort to refer them to appropriate institutions where they can be assisted. NTFC is also aware of the fact that included among street dwellers are not persons who are only vagrants but others who are vendors. The latter adds to the complexity of this problem.
With regard to Mr Rahaman’s statement that the NTFC “has been ineffectual” we refer to the press conference held on Friday August 18th, 2017 which was attended by many media houses. A comprehensive statement was issued by our Chairman Major General (ret’d) Joseph Singh on projects already completed during 2017, projects which are in progress and expected to be completed later this year, and projects proposed for 2018. Mr Rahaman can easily access this information from media houses. Like any other organization we do sometimes encounter hindrances, setbacks, delays, shortage of resources etc, but we are not defeated by these impediments. Rather we keep on working to overcome so that our country can experience positive changes.
In connection with Mr Rahaman’s statement that the “commission set up with taxpayers money to care for the unloved, have been derelict in their performance” we wish to share that the NTFC Secretariat is manned by a small staff of four persons which falls under the Work Services Group of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure where its administrative costs are catered for. The NTFC Chairman and other resource persons are all volunteers. The NTFC is not a budgeted agency for capital projects, but primarily facilitates and coordinates networking among various ministries and agencies of the government, community based organizations, faith based organizations, the private sector and the diaspora.
In July 2015 when the NTFC commenced its work Mr Rahaman was one of the first persons who approached us on drainage and other issues facing his community. These issues have since been addressed. It was a pleasure for us to have met with him on several occasions and we sincerely thank him for sharing his valuable time and knowledge. We continue to look forward for a high level of consultation and cooperation between the public and NTFC for the benefit of our nation.
National Task Force Commission