Gov’t, Opposition must work together to develop plan or country will suffer – Nigel Hughes

Nigel Hughes speaking at the Guyana Business Summit 2017

Guyanese Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, is urging the Government of Guyana and the Parliamentary Opposition to begin working together for the establishment of a long-term national development plan, failure of which could see the country being adversely affected when oil production begins.

“What I would urge is that we think of where Guyana is going to be in 15 years and where it is going to be in 25 years…Let us come up with a 15-year plan about how we are going to transform Guyana because come 2020 when the revenues come, what we want is a commitment to a long-term development plan by both political parties so that whoever we change in the next 15 to 25 years, that commitment is there,” he stated during a panel discussion at the Guyana Business Summit 2017. The event, organized by the Private Sector Commission (PSC), was held last week at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.

There are a number of areas he said, where strong political differences should not exist, and as such, consensus can be reached. “Education is not an area that should really have political differences…let us work out a…15-year and a 25-year plan for that, and commit ourselves to it,” he urged.

Hughes, who also serves as a Director at the Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA), says failure to come up with such a plan could have dire consequences for the South American country.

“What I fear is that come 2020 or even before that…we are not competitive as it is now, and I don’t think we have the right national approach to becoming competitive globally. We will get distracted by the (oil) funds and somebody else will come and take the benefit of Guyana. What will happen is that they will take advantage of the differences that we have now…,” he said.

He pointed out that the plan should not be dependent on oil but in fact be one that will provide for a better Guyana for persons both at home and in the Diaspora.