Govt wasted opportunity to push for major developments – Jagdeo

Caricom summit

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said the David Granger Administration missed an opportunity to push for major developmental policies and programmes in areas interrelated with massive large-scale potential that could have benefitted the entire Region and by extension, Guyana.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo

The recently concluded 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) which was hosted in Guyana provided the appropriate platform for the Guyana Government to take a comprehensive approach to push for vital projects that would be of utmost significance to the regional integration process, Jagdeo posited.
During a recent news conference, he rapped the Government over its short-sightedness and absence of a long-term vision for the development of the country as he lamented its wastage of the exceptional opportunity where the regional leaders gathered with the sole intention of developing initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of its citizenry.
Jagdeo, who served as President of Guyana for 12 years, said Government could have started the process for the commencement of new polices in areas of agriculture, climate change, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), among other sectors that would have brought tremendous benefit to the entire regional organisation.
“I have spoken to many of the leaders privately and some former heads and they all share the view that we are running out of steam in the Region and the integration process is faltering for lack of being championed… In Guyana’s case, I thought that being the country that has potential in many areas, with a strategic location we would have gone to Caricom with a comprehensive approach to address some of the issues here and expand opportunities for the people,” he emphasised.
In agriculture, he opined that strategies could have been crafted to fight for equal concessions and other incentives as is being given out for tourism.
Hypothetically, he said the movement would govern the entire Region and because of Guyana’s stronghold in the agriculture sector, the country would most likely stand to benefit enormously.
Jagdeo noted too that climate change was a critical area in which Government could have lobbied for more support.
“Our most productive lands are still below sea levels. We talk about hurricanes in these countries which are once in a while events with devastating impacts but we live daily below the sea… Climate change and the management of water and adaptation to climate change must be a critical part of our agenda… We did not lead on that,” he expressed disappointedly.
In fact, he assessed that the only major development coming out of the Caricom Summit is the Arrest Warrant Treaty; a tool which he said will be used against the Guyanese people.
“We will be arresting more of our people. And half of the time it will be the Guyanese people who will face the brunt of this because of the prejudice in many of these territories against our people,” he stated.
Overall, Jagdeo said he is very disappointed at the outcome of the Caricom Summit, especially since nothing major emanated that would dramatically enhance the lives of the Guyanese populace.