New NTC Secretariat almost completed

Construction of the new Secretariat for the National Toshaos Council (NTC) is almost completed, and it is estimated that works would be wrapped up in about one week.
Permanent Secretary of the Amerindian Affairs Ministry, Ryan Toolsiram, disclosed during a press conference on Thursday that final yard works are now being executed after a spell of heavy rainfall had resulted in minor delays.
“What we’re doing now is the works in the yard… We’re looking at within the next week, the project will be wrapped up. The building itself is completed, it’s just work in the yard that’s yet to be completed,” Toolsiram told the media.
The new building boasts adequate administrative facilities, but also caters for overnight amenities for toshaos visiting from remote locations.
“In the administrative section of the building, upstairs we have four self-contained rooms, whereby toshaos who come from far, they can come do their business and stay before they go back.”
An injection of $100 million in the 2022 National Budget paved the way for the Secretariat to be relocated from its Hadfield and Cross Streets location to a new building at the National Exhibition Center, Sophia.
The NTC is the representative body of all Toshaos. The Council engages with Government and other partners on behalf of all villages; promotes good governance practices; advocates for sustainable management of natural resources; and prepares, implements and supports policies, plans and projects to enhance the lives and livelihoods of Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples.
Last year, President Irfaan Ali disclosed that, within two years in Government, over $50 billion was invested in Indigenous communities, and $1.7 billion in economic- boosting investments, all part of Government’s commitment to the development of Indigenous communities.
At that time, the President also announced an increase in stipends for the Toshaos, from $30,000 to $45,000. Their deputies also received an increase from $20,000 to $30,000.
Government has also committed that Indigenous communities should have 100 per cent access to potable water by 2025. This is apart from investments in quality education and healthcare for remote communities, along with increased access to services.