Government will not allow itself to be a scapegoat: Irfaan

The President of Guyana - Dr Irfaan Ali, responded to the statement made by Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine and stated that the Central Government remains committed in improving the condition of Georgetown.

Guyana: The President of Guyana – Dr Irfaan Ali, responded to the statement made by Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine and stated that the Central Government remains committed in improving the condition of Georgetown.

Georgetown Mayor earlier made a statement in which he declared the President is starving the Mayor and City Council of resources.

The President added that “while the welfare of the City remains paramount, Government would not allow itself to be used as a scapegoat when the M&CC fails in fulfilling its responsibility and mandate.”

“Let me be very clear, this Government cares tremendously about our city, but we will not allow ourselves to be used as a scapegoat in the city not fulfilling its responsibility and mandate or in the city converting everything into political opportunism or a political football,” Irfaan added.

The President further noted down the efforts of the central Government in Georgetown and asserted, “We have invested in pumps to guarantee, as far as possible, the government also improved the drainage situation in the city to prevent – flooding. These are the necessary investments because as a government, the city reflects who we are as a nation too. But the mismanagement of the Council of the city cannot be passed on to the central government.”

The President added that it’s the failure of the city that they try to put on the Central Government while the city is not fulfilling its responsibilities in the – maintenance of the environment and its infrastructure and the cleaning of drainage, but the central government has embarked on a massive programme to clean the city, to clean and maintain the roadways, establish roundabouts, and maintain drainage.

Irfaan stated, “But this is the responsibility of the city council, and the city council continues to fail the people of the city, and every time they fail the people of the city, they try to pass the buck on or pass the burden on and the government is totally committed to ensuring that City Hall is restored. This is a project we have budgeted resources for in the budget and we are going to work on implementing it.”

The President reminded that Central Government has a responsibility to guarantee that resources are spent for what they are budgeted for and to assure that there is accountability and transparency. With this, he highlighted out some discrepancies that were uncovered at City Hall from the past years.

He added to his statement that as recent as March of 2021, a special audit commenced, and again similar issues were uncovered with views to the – National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Revenue Authority, and monies not paid over.