President addresses National Assembly, promises ‘good life’ for all

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… CoI into the tragic incidents which occurred in Surinamese waters

President David Granger addressing the 11th Parliament

President David Granger on Thursday addressed the National Assembly promising Guyanese to ensure that they have the good life and that Guyana becomes a happy nation.

Parliament was packed to capacity with Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps and other special guests for the reconvening, where President David Granger delivered a lengthy speech sharing his vision for Guyana.

The Guyanese head of state restated his old promise of a good life for all Guyanese. He went a bit further explaining that he has a vision to create a happy nation as well.

“The State’s principal objective is to secure the ‘good life’ for all.  The ‘good life’ entails providing every citizen with opportunities to be the best that they can be.  The ‘good life’ is about securing sustained economic prosperity, ensuring citizens’ access to quality public services and promoting social cohesion.The ‘good life’ involves eliminating extreme poverty and removing social, ethnic and geographic inequalities. The ultimate indicators of the good life are happy communities, happy households and happy people” Granger yet again restated.

But the president’s remarks comes at a time when there is a pending increase in tolls at the Berbice River Bridge, and where sugar workers have not yet been paid their severance.

Additionally, bauxite workers are uncertain about their future with the impending closure of Rusal and the sugar industry has performed its worse in decades since the downsizing.

Nevertheless, the president shared a broader vision for the country in 2019, explaining that this would ensure that the economy grows and that Guyanese have a better life.

“In 2019, to develop a landfill facility at Bel Vue in East Berbice-Corentyne to allow for the closure of the Esplanade dumpsite, in 2019…many new housing areas were bedevilled by low levels of occupancy and abysmal infrastructure.  Poor solid waste management created insanitary conditions…your government will continue to expand access to housing and improve infrastructure within housing areas” Granger revealed.

And while Government has been planning its projects around the impending oil revenues, the president said mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that the legal framework for the Sovereign Wealth Fund is sound.

“Your government is committed to transparency in the management of this sector. We have made public the petroleum contracts signed between investors and the Government of Guyana…work is continuing, also, on the Petroleum Commission Bill which has been re-drafted and forwarded to the Department of Energy for review. Other legislation which the Department of Energy is reviewing includes amendments to the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act and Regulations” the President said in his address.

Security

Touching on the area of security, President Granger acknowledging the security concerns that are currently prevailing, with stakeholders calling for more focus to be placed on the prisons and crime in general, said that “we do not underestimate the seriousness of the public security challenges which we face but, equally, no one should underrate our resolve to make our country safer.”

“Security sector reform, with the support of the United Kingdom, has started.  A new Force directorate, established in accordance with the Constitution, is in place.  A new Commissioner of Police with four Deputy Commissioners have been appointed” said Granger.

He also noted that his Administration “will continue, in 2019, to improve prison management. The expansion of the Mazaruni Prison and the reconstruction of the Georgetown Prison will reduce overcrowding and improve prison safety.”

CoI

Addressing the surety of safety both on land and at sea, the President pledged that his Administration will “launch a Commission of Inquiry into the tragic incidents which occurred, in Surinamese waters during the period 27-28 April 2018 and again on 3rd May 2018, when our fisher folk were attacked and some of them murdered.”

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