Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall is of the firm conviction that Georgetown Mayor, Ubraj Narine does not have moral standing to judge the administration on matters of accountability when he presides over a council that is plagued by gross financial management.
Ahead of the Local Government Elections yesterday, Narine had accused the PPP Administration of being a major contributor to the council’s ability to function effectively. In fact, he said the government owes $1B in rates and taxes and has starved the body of crucial resources.
In response, the minister wrote a letter to the media, denouncing those claims. Dharamlall was also keen to take Narine to task for failing to provide years of financial statements to the Auditor General for scrutiny. The minister said this state of affairs prevents City Hall from being held accountable for the proper use of public funds.
The minister also lambasted the previous administration for its lack of financial documentation, citing misplaced vouchers, fraudulent schemes, and unanswered queries from the Auditor General’s office.
Minister Dharamlall also highlighted the deteriorating state of Georgetown, which he referred to as the “Garbage City” under the Mayor’s leadership. The minister said the council ultimately failed to fulfil its mandates, resulting in clogged drains, unmaintained roads, neglected parapets, and crumbling municipal markets. Additionally, he criticized the council’s leasing of prime lands without proper valuations, leading to legal disputes and potential financial losses.
Minister Dharamlall concluded by asserting that the citizens of Georgetown deserve better and that a PPP/C-led Council will prioritize proper management, including regular cleaning of drains and improved emergency response capabilities. He also called for a new era of accountability and efficient governance in Georgetown, one which could be provided if the PPP wins the municipality at the Local Government Elections.