Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton earlier today accused the government of intentionally neglecting the advancement of the people living in Region 10.
Norton’s comment comes a day after President, Dr Irfaan Ali visited the Opposition stronghold, where he interacted with residents and regional officials. Norton branded the visit as a “charade”, noting that Ali’s presence did nothing to resolve challenges in the region, including unemployment, contractor dillydallying and the alleged pussyfooting of government functionaries in improving the chances of locals to access state-funded contracts.
“He walked with a very large contingent to boost the [number] of people around him. He passed the Call Centre where they promised to create jobs and that Call Centre is virtually on the verge of closing because of poor management, etcetera. So, there are no jobs. The [enhancement] of the Wismar Bridge was removed from the budget. So, it continues to remain a one-way bridge with no development. The visit of the President has done nothing to deal with that,” Norton said.
He added, “Right where the President went at Wisroc, the APNU+AFC was building a track – an athletics track. It began before the APNU+AFC left the government in 2020 and until now, they have done nothing to complete it when the majority of successful athletes in this country are coming from Linden. And the President had the temerity, the audacity to say there that it should have been done since the APNU+AFC’s time [in office]. Works were stopped because of the People’s Progressive Party. Does Ali’s visit to Linden solve the problem when more than 70 per cent of the contracts in Region 10 are going to PPP people outside of the Region?”
Norton said that if the government is serious about helping Region 10, it should seek to build regional capacity and allow locals to access government contracts. However, he noted that the administration seems more interested in hosting entertainment events in the Region to fill the pockets of its private sector buddies. He added that after the fetes, the people of Linden are back at square one.
“The budget, this year, allocated millions of dollars to Hits and Jams and a PPP operative in Linden to build a school at Bamia. Today, they cannot complete it. Work is not being done and the children are punishing. The problem of Linden is unemployment, the problem of Linden is people are not getting contracts, the problem of Linden is that the Government is not promoting micro and small businesses so that our people can do what they have to do and become independent,” the Opposition Leader lamented.
Contracts should be awarded to those who are capable. Are Lindeners capable?
I recall the PNC was going to assemble Caloi bicycles, make radios, etc. Who got these “contracts?”