After 100 days of President Ali and his Cabinet in Government, every Guyanese has had the opportunity to compare our People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government’s outstanding achievements – made through their vision for Guyana’s future, as outlined by the President and his Cabinet – with those of the previous APNU/AFC administration in their 100 days.
Guyanese, let us compare the PPP/C’s 100 days with the APNU/AFC’s 100 days.
The People’s Progress Party Civic’s (PPP/C’s) 100-day review features visionary leadership and demonstrated commitment to the development of Guyana and every Guyanese citizen; and every Guyanese has been given an opportunity to see for themselves the trajectory our newly-elected President has set for his Administration.
In his first month in office, it was immediately impressed on Guyanese that this was a President who intended to connect with every Guyanese, with him visiting as many communities as possible and hearing from the people themselves what their concerns are. Our President took up this challenge himself. On August 30, 2020, President Ali, in partnership with several civil society groups, paid a visit to Tiger Bay in Georgetown, where hampers were distributed and he listened to the concerns of residents. Other places he visited include Canal Number 1, West Bank Demerara, where he did a walkabout that attracted scores of residents.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill and Housing and Water Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues also used the first month to visit communities across Guyana, where attention was paid to concerns over infrastructure and adequate housing and water.
Other Ministers who did visits across the country include Education Minister Priya Manickchand; Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr, alongside members of the GFF and Tiger Bay community; Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha; Junior Public Works Minister Deodat Indar; Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall; and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai, among others who hosted several outreaches.
It is clear that while the PPP/C ministers were on the road working in 2020, the then APNU/AFC ministers and president were too busy celebrating and increasing their salaries in 2015 after 100 days in office. As a matter of fact, the score secured by the APNU/AFC administration for its first year in Government is 11 out of 21! That score was calculated on what that Government had promised to do in its first 100 days in office; whereas, 365 days in, only 11 of the 21 promises had been kept.
As promised, President Dr Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips and Public Works Minister Juan Edghill immediately began examining proposals for the Parika-WBD road link, as our President had promised an amazing future for Guyana with the new four-lane highway linking WBD to Parika, construction of which has begun.
The PPP/C’s signature achievement after coming to office is the less-than-90 days it took to liberalise the telecommunications sector and bring an end to the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company’s (GTT’s) 30-year monopoly in Guyana. This has allowed for other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to receive the requisite licences, paving the way for them to expand, ushering in a new age of telecoms competition. More than 25 other companies have since expressed an interest in Guyana.
The PPP/C entered Government with ExxonMobil’s US$9 billion investment in Payara offshore Guyana perched in a precarious position. The former APNU/AFC Government had contracted British firm Bayphase to conduct an assessment of the Payara Field Development Plan (FDP), but that was since 2019. The project had not moved past assessment, and Exxon was getting impatient. Our Government, soon after it took office, proceeded to turn the situation around by negotiating a Payara licence that contained environmental safeguards and provisions for natural gas that would tie in with the Government’s long-term vision for a gas-to-shore project.
A comparison of the Payara licence and the licence for Liza Fields 1 and 2 will show that the PPP/C Government was able to secure fair, improved terms, unlike the previous APNU/AFC administration.
Improvements include stiffer fines for flaring, and Exxon has to submit its development and operating cost estimates for the Payara field within 90 days from the date the licence is issued; and Exxon is also required to provide US$400,000 annually for the various audits. The Payara licence, complete with improved terms over the Liza field licence, was signed within two months of the PPP/C being in office.
The most transformative project the PPP/C has on its agenda is the gas-to-shore project, which would see gas pipes from Exxon’s offshore Liza field being brought onshore and used to process natural gas for local energy consumption. The Government has set up an advisory committee for this project within the 100 days, while also setting itself a target of 2023 to make the project a reality.
Guyanese, we must stop spending so much energy on negativity, and look into the future, look into the potential of our country under the leadership of the PPP/C Administration, and embrace positive energy that will move this country forward. There is no other way we are going to build an amazing future here in Guyana.