By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] –The last set of Ministers for the David Granger led APNU+AFC administration were sworn in on Friday, May 22 at the Ministry of Presidency.
Surprisingly, President Granger has created three new Ministries which include the Ministries of Governance, Citizenship and Business.
Former Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman will head the Ministry of Governance, while Winston Felix will run the new Ministry of Citizenship and Dominic Gaskin will function as the Minister of Business. It was noted that the Ministries of Governance and Citizenship will operate out of the Ministry of Presidency.
The Ministry of Governance will serve to improve the quality of governance in the country, in particular the observance of constitutional provisions.
Trotman will also be responsible for the establishment of a Commission to look at constitutional reform and to ensure that there is stricter application of Article 13 of the constitution which calls for inclusionary governance.
Additionally, the Ministry of Citizenship will place key emphasis on immigration, naturalization and registration. The President explained that this Ministry was created to ensure that Guyanese citizenship is protected and for better recording of Guyanese citizens from birth to death.
“In addition to that we are aware of persons coming into Guyana and have been getting access to Guyanese citizenship very easily and we want to ensure that citizenship remains praised that is protected by the State and we are going to be more efficient and that is why a special minister had to be appointed,” the President said.
Dawn Hastings is left to be sworn in as Minister within the Ministry of Communities and the speaker of the National Assembly has not been chosen as yet, but will be done before the 11th parliament reconvenes soon.
Meanwhile, Khemraj Ramjattan has been named the Second Vice- President and Minister of Public Security, formerly known as the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Noel Holder is now the new Minister of Agriculture, while Sydney Allicock will now run the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, formerly known as the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and Valarie Garrido-Lowe will serve as Minister within that Ministry.
Jaipaul Sharma will serve as Minister within the Ministry of Finance, while Keith Scott has been added to the Ministry of Communities.
The President has challenged the new Ministers to help the government to effectively execute its mandate to improve the lives of Guyanese. He told them that much work lies ahead.
“We are committed to have a cabinet which is committed to national unity, were committed to have a cabinet which is committed to have efficiency and transparency, I feel proud to have behind me a group of men and women who are going to transform Guyana and see that we have a good life for all Guyanese.”
He believes that the youth population is being adequately represented since, “we have a balance of experience…there are only two persons in the entire cabinet who have had cabinet experience and we need to ensure that persons who have had experience in other fields are in positions to lead those ministries.”
Even though a number of Ministries have been absorbed including Culture Youth & Sport which now comes under the Ministry of Education, the staff for that ministry along with the Ministry of Natural Resources will be retained to perform their functions, the President explained.
“We are rationalizing the use of buildings to make sure that they are effectively used, yesterday I was at the public service training division and that is the site of what I would like to feel would be the next public service staff college and we need space to do.”