Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, said that the Government of Guyana has prioritised infrastructural development because it recognises that improved infrastructure is the cornerstone of socio-economic progress.
“It is through construction that vital infrastructure, like roads bridges and airports, are put in place… Great importance and priority must, therefore, be given to construction and infrastructure as has been made clear by His Excellency, President David Granger on several occasions,” he said.
The Minister made these statements at commissioning of the Fourth Road Project on Wednesday, a ceremony which marks the culmination of an over US$46M rehabilitation project on the West Coast Demerara Road.
The project was jointly funded by the Government of Guyana and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The event was held at the De Willem Tarmac, West Coast Demerara.
Minister Harmon said that improvements in road networks will give Guyanese easier access to natural resources. “The Government recognises infrastructure as a key element in our development, linking our coastland and our hinterland, our rural and urban communities, and enabling us to access our natural resources. This importance in priority is also reflected in the 2018 National budget… where $32B were allocated to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, of which $14.3B is devoted to the construction, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of our national road networks,” he said.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said that the completion of the road project will boost the economy of the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region. “The completion of the rehabilitation of this road is timely as the West Coast of Demerara and Region Three as a whole, is a growing hub for sectoral development. These developmental activities are only as good as the ability to access locations within and on the outskirts of the Region… This highway provides this opportunity to link communities, reducing travel time, and increasing economic activity,” he said.
Minister Patterson also announced that Region Three will also see the execution of a number of other environmentally-friendly development projects. “Residents will be pleased to know that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure envisions Region Three as being earmarked for the installation of renewable energy technology in the coming years. This will potentially add to the ongoing initiatives in which the Government has embarked on to promote ‘green’ and clean energy,” he said.
Representative from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), O’Reilly Lewis said that the CDB will continue to help Guyana pursue infrastructural development. “We are in this for the long run… we have an unwavering commitment to the Government and people of Guyana and we look forward to continuing a long and fruitful relationship with you as we seek to reorient and diversify Guyana’s economy,” he said.