By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President David Granger swore in some of the members of the APNU+AFC Cabinet with some surprise portfolios and their designees.
iNews was able to speak to a few of those Ministers, who outlined some of the priority areas they would like to tackle in the coming years within their individual Ministries.
Cathy Hughes, the new Tourism Minister told reporters that as a matter of priority she would be looking at ways in which to better establish Guyana as a tourism destination by developing a marketing strategy.
She also noted that the sector needs a hospitality school and that is something that the APNU+AFC government would definitely be paying keen attention to.
Meanwhile, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine who was a surprise pick for the Education Ministry said that his immediate priorities would be to look at the entire Ministry and its functions. He admitted that the sector was relatively new to him, but was quick to add that he learns fast.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson told iNews that while he has already liaised with the staff at the soon to be renamed Public Works Ministry.
He explained that there would be a review of the current public works programs with a view of assessing which should be continued and which should he halted.
Patterson noted that one of the issues of priority would be the Linden to Lethem road which is currently in a deplorable state and in need of general repairs.
Khemraj Ramjattan who is expected to be sworn in as a Vice President with the responsibility for National Security told iNews that his attention would be placed on taking the Guyana Police Force from a place of being feared, to a state where it is generally respected within the communities.
He also noted that attention will be placed on operationalizing the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory which was commissioned under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration but has since been a white elephant in the security sector.
“To ensure an extremely secure and stable security…we want to ensure the laboratory is equipped with modern equipment,” said Ramjattan.
Asked about the 911 emergency system, Ramjattan noted that steps will be taken to have it up and running in the “shortest possible time.”
He indicated that he has been made to understand that all of the equipment is available but there is no service adding that should international support be needed to activate the system, then such will be sought.
“Expect that it will be as soon as possible and if there is need for international support so that it can happen then I am going to plead with the international community for that support,” said the soon to be sworn in Vice President.
He also pointed out that he will be placing emphasis on the fortification of the prosecutorial department of the Guyana Police Force.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan made it clear that the preparation of the budget for 2015 which he explained should be ready for Parliament by August.