President Jagdeo addresses concerns of Berbicians

Kaieteur News
May 6, 2007

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President Bharrat Jagdeo held meetings with residents of communities in East Berbice, yesterday, and was informed of issues that are affecting them, mainly deplorable community roads and delay in National Insurance Scheme ( NIS ) payments for retired workers.

“This is unacceptable and unfair. NIS should not use their poor record keeping to deny people, who have been paying their money all the time…I will meet with the entire senior managers and board members next week to deal with this issue. All I want is for people to get what they work for,” the Head of State promised.

The President met with residents of Gagaram and Cumberland , East Canje , and was apprised of the poor condition of the streets in these areas. President Jagdeo said he is cognisant of their concerns but more pressing issues have to be dealt with first.

“We will have to find money to fix this, but the main road is priority right now.

Next week I would get the Work Services group (of the Ministry of Transport and Hydraulics) to begin paving the main road,” the President told them.

At New Amsterdam , the Head of State checked on roads in the town and expressed satisfaction with what he saw.

In 2005, Government unveiled a $950M street repair project for the towns of Region Six— New Amsterdam , Rose Hall and Corriverton. Several streets in New Amsterdam were targeted for a facelift, while the road network in Rose Hall Town was also repaired under a $600M contract.

Several other major road projects were completed in the region, while others are ongoing, including the New Amsterdam to Moleson Creek road.

The President had also met with the members of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on Friday evening at the Little Rock Hotel, where he urged that they be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will come with several major developmental projects.

Commenting on the discussions after the meeting, the President said, “I asked them to pay attention to the challenges that will come with the Skeldon Modernisation Project and the Berbice River Bridge .

“I urged them not to be static in their analysis and to try to be a bit dynamic; to explore what these possibilities will bring, and apprise their membership of what they can do.” Accompanied by Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud and officials of Guyana Sugar Corporation at the Port Mourant Training Centre, the Head of State also met with cattle farmers whose cattle graze on Guyana Sugar Corporation's lands.

“We have to now work to concretise earlier discussions and see how we can assist farmers to prepare some new pastures so that they can exit the part that Guysuco need for the expansion programme.

“In the next few weeks, the Agriculture Minister will be meeting with cattle farmers and Guysuco to work out a specific plan. We at the Central Government will help with some more equipment to clear the land and have somewhere to move the cattle,” the President promised.

Last evening, President Jagdeo attended the Indian Arrival Committee mela at the Albion Sports Complex, as part of activities to mark Arrival Day. (GINA