Nagamootoo’s Office is a nest of patronage – Jagdeo
(Reprinted from Guyana Times): Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday declared that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s Office is nothing but a nest of political patronage whereby his family, friends and affiliates are regularly awarded.
Jagdeo expressed these sentiments during a news conference at Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown.
He was at the time offering his take on the controversy currently surrounding State Minister Joseph Harmon to media operatives.
“I noticed Harmon said he had to sign many things for both APNU and AFC supporters. Was it that he was saying that we both did the same thing so why would Nagamootoo feel ignorance and some of the others feel ignorance of what Harmon did when he, Harmon, would have had to sign similar instruments for many AFC supporters?” Jagdeo questioned.
Jagdeo explained that the Prime Minister, among other government officials, are guilty of the same yet there is no public outrage over those incidents.
“Nagamootoo Office has been a nest of patronage and he has not done any work on behalf of the nation. He enjoys massive resource at his disposal, much of it personal because the benefits he get as perks of Office,” Jagdeo stated.
Furthermore, Jagdeo disclosed that Nagamootoo’s relatives have been appointed to manage the old cinema government had rented for use as one of its offices.
Jagdeo also reminded of the Prime Minister’s regional representatives, all of whom he posited were “jobs for the boys”.
Nagamootoo has come in for harsh criticisms over his exorbitance at the expense of taxpayers’ monies.
Firstly, there was the $22 million customised luxury Land Cruiser that was added to his existing fleet of 22 vehicles, which was deemed just the tip of an iceberg of extravagant expenditures in his personal life.
Reports indicate that Nagamootoo has cashed in on hefty amounts for the repairs to the bridge and road to his private residence, repairs to the official Prime Minister’s residence and the Office of the Prime Minister.
Moreover, in the Budget Estimates 2015, an additional $10 million was set aside for the rehabilitation of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Official Residence. Some of this money will go towards constructing several secondary buildings at the Prime Minister’s residence, while the remainder will be distributed for the refurbishing of cubicles, security barracks, storage houses, waiting area, and the roof.
An additional $10 million was set aside for the purchase of furniture and equipment, while another $4 million is allocated for the refurbishing of furniture and equipment, Nagamootoo stated, contending that the buildings he inherited were in a deplorable state.
Also, some $10 million was budgeted under the Office of the Prime Minister for “minor works”, which Nagamootoo said will be distributed to assist in various projects undertaken by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU); the Salvation Army and the Diocese of Guyana, among others.
Additionally, a whopping $15.7 million is set aside for “other expenses”. Added to that is the massive salary increases, which he had requested, now being paid to government officials.