Guyana, I am certain is not unlike many third world countries and faces a combination of difficult circumstances, some seemingly self-imposed while others are dictates of the so-called developed world which complicates our already complicated ways of doing business, adding greatly to our individual and collective frustrations.
Almost everything you do or try to do require an endless trail of paperwork not to mention valuable time. The strange thing is that many persons you deal with only have a vague idea at best as to why this is so. The common response is “It has to do with the GRA”.
Big brother is always watching and checking while little brother is scheming and calculating ways to beat the system and make a raise.
Although many Ministries and businesses have websites that provide basic information they are not interactive so you have to end up learning the procedure the hard way, through trial and error and much legwork.
In an age where information should be instant and accurate we are left in the dark most of the time.
We talk daily of the impending wealth of an oil and gas industry the way some people talk loosely of God but yet we hear more talk and see little effort to correct and modernize our communication and the country’s ancient infrastructure as the clock ticks..
2020 will soon be upon us and we are still operating like 1920. If there is a plan to fast forward development and improve infrastructure it is a well-guarded secret.
The Rule of Law, discipline and attitudes necessary for a modern society to function are monstrously lacking and will put us at a grave disadvantage to benefit from the early windfalls necessary to build solid foundations.
Oil and Gas is a total and completely alien industry to us and is one of which the standards are extremely high. While we can expect an early invasion of foreign service related businesses which could provide many new jobs, we have to make ourselves ready to compete or take a hike. The current mediocre standard of service will be overtaken by a new culture demand of which all serious businesses will have to adjust.
Let’s face it Guyana is way behind many places even in our own region in terms of proper working systems, customer service and communication.
Some of us will view or be led by others to think of the new service invasion as modern colonization but the truth is we hardly ever tried to lift ourselves out of the old ways we inherited.
We are currently a lawless nation who will do very much what we please without consideration for each other. We still see each other as Indo and Afro Guyanese and cuss and trample each other disrespectfully. We allow ourselves to be separated by political demagogues with agendas of their own who use us for their own enrichment. As Guyanese we have to move beyond this simplistic stereotype and work together for our own enrichment or remain backward.
We have seen Governments come and go with little benefit to the people who elected them on their flimsy and unrealistic promises as they divide us further with tactics of fear of each other. The Guyanese electorate must no longer allow themselves to be used like pawns who sacrifice themselves to save the king.
Embrace and respect Guyanese regardless of their colour or religion, and make choices based on sound judgement while helping each other to conduct themselves professionally and ethically and that is when we can claim to be truly one people one nation with one destiny respected globally because of our combined strength.