Guyana’s PM ignores protesters, encourages expats to invest in homeland

Guyanese outside Grace Christian Church, in Brooklyn protesting the Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier Ret. Mark Phillips of the current PPP government.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier Ret. Mark Phillips was bombarded with screams of no ‘justice no peace’ from nationals, who hurled insults and waved Guyana flags to Bob Marley’s song ‘War’ to protest the PPP government, who they called murderers, as the politician entered Grace Christian Church in Brooklyn on Oct. 12.

The newly elected prime minister and a delegation that included, M.P. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira, Minister of Housing and Water, Colin Croal, and Ambassador Caroline Rodrigues, and who applauded the chants as he walked into the auditorium, was in the borough to address the Guyanese Caribbean Chamber of Commerce forum hosted by President Wesley Kirton.

Not fazed by the protesters, the politician later in his discourse said, “as we seek to develop Guyana, our plan will include the people protesting outside, they will be a part of the development of Guyana, they could participate in the development of Guyana,” as he called on expatriates to invest in their homeland.

“As a government, we do not wish to squander the good will that was given to us by the international community and the diaspora. We will be a responsible government. We will work day and night to make Guyana a county for all Guyanese.

“We won the elections, and it took us five months to form the government, democracy prevailed,” said Phillips. He said that the next big thing for Guyana is development that will benefit the six races of people, noting that President Irfaan Ali coined the phrase – “One Guyana” that is principle to nation building.

He said Guyana has one of the fastest growing economies in the Caribbean region, noting a 14.5 percent increase in the sectors of oil, agriculture, mining, tourism and other industries, since the PPP took office, adding that by 2030 there will be millions of barrels of oil being produced per day.

He said his government is industrializing the coastline of Demerara where shore base facilities are being constructed, and there is a need for 150 technically skilled workers, that is currently being undertaken, with future employment in the 22 oil fields where ships are drilling.

President of the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce, Wesley Kirton, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, Prime Minister Brigadier Ret. Mark Phillips, M.P. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira, and the new Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations, Ambassador Caroline Rodrigues after an Investment Forum at Grace Christian Church in Brooklyn.

The PM, promises a liberalized telecommunication system, increase bandwidth, and expansion in Guyana’s connectivity sector.

“We will bridge the Information Communication Technology (ICT) divide with the rural, and hinterlands areas of Guyana, a 1.9M project that will be rolled out to the hinterland and poor communities, that will benefit from this project,” he shared.

The private sector, he said will be playing a role in the development of ICT and Energy and is committed to the financial aspects in keeping with the laws of Guyana.

“We are transforming Guyana, tremendously in repairing infrastructure across the country, to ensure farm to market accessibility, leading from the hinterland.

He said the country is open for investment. In agriculture forestry, sharing that two companies from Brazil will build mega farms in the Rupununi area, with better roads being built for serious investments, noting millions be allocated for health facilities, capacity building.

“Education is a driver for any county that is transforming and developing.” Noting also that security, is a concern for investors of the diaspora, and promised that huge funds will be allocated for top-notch security and crime fighting and public security.

“Police officers will be trained in crime fighting, and respond timing to crime scenes, he shared, noting that 50 new vehicles, were recently issued to the police force.

“We want to Change the attitude of police officers, so we can create safety and security, and build confidence within the diaspora for investment opportunities,” said Phillips.

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