There was never a deficit of ideas regarding the necessary investment and policies needed to make Linden great again. However, for quite some time in recent history, Linden suffered tremendously from the serious deficit of politicians who genuinely care enough to simply make good on their promises.
That is the view of Change Guyana’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Nigel Hinds.
Recently, Kaieteur News published an article that highlighted the fact that many of the promises made by Change Guyana, regarding Linden, mirror those made by APNU+AFC in its manifesto for 2015 elections.
Responding to that article, Hinds did not negate that indeed the promises are similar. Instead, he offered perspective.
Hinds said that one cannot expect a party to promise to “plant apples in Linden.” He said that the assets of Linden are well known and for anyone who understands Linden and the potential it has, there will be certain obvious steps to be taken.
Further, Hinds said that the problem lies not with promises or the outlining of steps to prosperity. The problem is the following up of those steps after the people of Region 10 would have voted.
Hinds noted that the Party highlighted this phenomenon at a previous press conference.
He said that at that press conference, eight days before the Kaieteur News article was published, “It was made very clear at the press conference that the problem was not an absence of good promises, but the unmitigated failure of the old parties to implement and execute on their promises during their tenure in office.”
Hinds noted that APNU made 11 promises to the people of Region 10.
APNU promised to create a Strategic Development Plan for Region 10; invite and support foreign investment from reputable and known multinationals to develop an aluminum industry in Guyana and create new jobs, alongside policies to guarantee workers’ rights and welfare.
APNU also promised to develop the Tiger Falls and another hydroelectric potential in the region to facilitate regional industrial development; intensify block making capability using lateritic bauxite soil to support housing policy; transform Linden to make it the main entry point for eco-tourism expansion and establish a University of Guyana campus in Linden, offering courses relevant to the developmental needs of Regions 7, 8, 9, and 10. APNU also promised to re-engage the Government of Brazil and commence the Linden-Lethem highway. (NOTE: FUNDING HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE CDB FOR A SECTION OF THE LINDEN-LETHM HIGHWAY)
Hinds said that none of these promises were implemented by the two parties.
He then declared, “We will not discard these promises merely because they were made by another political party; we also cannot make promises that were already implemented; thus the fact that we approve promises made by both PPP/C and APNU-AFC highlights the fact that the two parties failed to keep their promises.” He said that Change Guyana has pledged to adopt and implement most of the broken promises, specific to Region 10, made by successive governments.
Hinds said that Change Guyana will, among other things, establish a Special Economic Zone for increased employment, remove income tax for those working under $100,000; impose a levy on logs from Region 10 to be exclusively used to develop the Region; Establish a University Campus in Linden; build an alumina plant in Region 10 to convert Bauxite Ore to Alumina; 7-Establishment of a wood processing factory – by incentivizing foreign and local investors, and use of Public-Private Partnerships – if necessary; Encourage micro, small and medium businesses to flourish by working with financial institutions to provide low-interest financing for business in Region 10, with the lending institutions obtaining tax credits; Establish a port and wharf facility in Region 10 to transport value-added timber for the export market and other regions of Guyana, and make the paved Linden to Lethem highway a reality.
Hinds said the “challenge to change Region 10 from an economically depressed community to one that enjoys accelerated economic development is to be overcome by leadership that implements and executes promises made, instead of a trail of broken promises decade after decade. Change Guyana offers that leadership.”