Delayed development being confronted…

According to upbeat Minister Patterson

Please respond to Melinda and Tony

I think Dr Cheddi Jagan was President when a most loyal Party-Man-Minister, Harripersaud Nokta, essayed to outline vision when articulating a grand transportation plan across the three counties.

Vision embodying policies and programmes speaks to transformation, even if mostly long-term. Announced Mr Nokta: This plan will enable Guyanese to board their vehicles at Charity and have a choice of coming out or not until they arrive at Paramaribo or Cayenne.

Of course he was promising top-class roads, stellings, bridges and ferries that would easily facilitate such travel. Was his visionary plans achieved? Partly. Thanks to Dr Jagdeo’s Berbice Bridge and the European Guyana-Suriname ferry boat.

What a portfolio the Works/Infrastructure Ministers have!

Today, in the face of relentless critiques from many I, with maximum caution, will use the words of Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, to attempt to be an optimistic citizen, even as I eschew any party loyalty. Yes, today, thanks to that Minister I’ll be a good-news coalition citizen. Here goes.

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No round-about, endless development

You realise that your country is still woefully under-developed when many ministers of government pose for cameras at the opening of a traffic roundabout.

A bit of road traffic mechanism, routine elsewhere, attracts publicity, smiles and achievement praises. However, it was at the opening that the Infrastructure Minister Patterson – a civil engineer (?) – revealed great news worthy of commendation by a delay-induced, indifferent citizenry.

Consider all this carefully, slowly: Minister Patterson promises:-  more roundabouts! 1600 brand new LED street lights (for installation at such places like Wakenaam, Supenaam to Anna Regina,  Bourda Market area and South Ruimveldt!); Ithaca, D’Edward, (Region 5) lights first time etc, etc; “Green” waterfront development for Georgetown’s Seawalls; 30 megawatts of “green” energy will be provided by solar and hydro projects to power His Excellency’s newer towns – Bartica and Lethem; then Rupununi, Mahdia, Tumatumari! Add the East Coast, Demerara Highway upgrade and you get an idea of how Minister David is earning his early-increased salary.

And have you read about the Brazilian mega farm planned for the Rupununi? And that Exxon Oil is ready to assist Guyana’s agriculture? And about the Regional Hospitals upgrades which this column has been lobbying for?

Boy, oh boy! I know that the immediate foregoing reads like Vice-President Nagamootoo’s Info-Hub. But we do need the hope embedded in those promises and proposals. I have a pal who appreciated my review of promises which I used, years ago, to assess ministers’ pronouncements every six months. So let’s all check in on Minister Patterson by November/December next. After all, if these promises are kept, things might go well for him and His Excellency at the year-end Local Government Polls.

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Responding to Melinda and Tony

Amongst the numerous – many noble and well-meaning-critics and anti-establishment “activists” advocating these days, I find Melinda Janki and Tony Vieira to be rational and mostly pro-active. Frankly Speaking, they use their considerable academic and hands-on past to hang their arguments on.

I realise that government spokespersons and subject ministers might be already fatigued in responding to questions, criticisms, exposés regarding oil and gas especially. So I suggest one of their professional experts should respond to Attorney Melinda when she posits: “Oil will impoverish Guyana; you must have statutory authority or there must be some legal principle…what authority the minister had… (She said that the judiciary should arbitrate on that issue); Guyana will not get a share of vast profits and actual royalty is less than 2%…”

There were more doom-and-gloom predictions from her even as she was accused by a letter-writer as having a personal grouse associated with some specific past employment.

Tony Vieira recommends that Guyana should take up the Brazilians’ 2007 offer to build “a 1500 megawatt hydro-power dam at Turtruba in our Mazaruni River.”

Tony argues that after “enlightened,” professional negotiations to avoid costly up-front mistakes, 1200 megawatts from the proposed hydropower facility could be sold to the same Brazilians from the 1500 to be generated. He claims the Brazilians need this power and more for the massive planned development of the Amazonas and Roraima States.

The best part of such a deal, Vieira claims, is that the Brazilians will build it for us! We both get the power we need. This power generation from the Mighty Mazaruni is “forever, not finite like oil” and, boasts Tony, it will generate more lasting finance than Exxon’s Oil!

Will some non-political coalition professional expert(s) please respond to these vital issues raised by Melinda and Tony!?

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Lots to ponder!

Elections cometh! I told you-all so columns ago. The year-end Local Elections will thrust the work of GECOM consistently under scrutiny. It has started.

Besides His Excellency’s Chairman, forty (40) questions should be asked of CEO “Old Soldier” Lowenfield.

The Guyanese from Trinidad who’s invested millions in his modern MovieTowne has complained of the enormous red tape when “getting things done” in Guyana. Any responses?

Put Vicky’s statue in a big shady yard and teach the youth all about her past right there.

And beg His Excellency not to re-name Victoria and Queenstown.

Parking meters can never fail. Pity a good City Council couldn’t access investment to own all the meters all over the city. They’ll get their money back. It’s theirs alone forever.

As you read of some very recent massive cocaine drug busts, do you feel that this transshipment Guyana will stop doing business soon? DEA or no DEA? (It’s only the insider tip-offs!)

’Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)

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