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Monday, April 12, 2021

‘We must not remain a rich country of poor people’ Guyana President affirms in new year’s message

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President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali says 2021 will be the springboard from which the new oil producing country will leap into recovery, rebuilding its economy and enhancing the health and well-being of its more than 750,000 people.

Mr. Ali said the country’s economic prospects have never been brighter, in reference to the estimated 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources found offshore and the spin-off opportunities the emerging oil and gas industry has been generating.

“The only impediment to our steady climb to the top are those among us who choose selfish gains over national benefits,” he said.

The South American country emerged just months ago from a 150-day ordeal during which efforts were repeatedly made to subvert the will of the people and overturn the March 2 elections. This saw widespread condemnation at the national, regional, and international level with the United States imposing visa sanctions on officials it said were involved in electoral fraud.

“History, including religious tracts, is replete with examples of persons who sacrificed the interests of a people in pursuit of their self-interested purposes,” the President stated. “As a nation, we must resist those who try to lure any of us into serving a cause less noble, less beneficial, and less worthwhile than the upliftment and empowerment of all Guyanese.”

Mr. Ali said when he accepted the democratic decision of the majority of the Guyanese people to serve as President, he made clear that his stewardship of the nation’s affairs would be in the interest of all – those who voted for him, and those who did not.

“I saw my principal role then, as I reaffirm now, as uniting our people – all races, all groups – and advancing their collective interest. I will not be swayed or influenced from that single-minded focus,” he said, pointing out that every Guyanese must be given equal opportunity to shine and the chance to achieve.

COVID-19

Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said his administration is working intensely to secure vaccines to immunise the nation.

“Our goal is to inoculate all who are willing to accept the vaccine, starting with the most vulnerable in our society,” he said, while alluding to an ongoing cash disbursement programme intended to bring relief to those affected across the country.

“In the meantime, we must all act to protect ourselves and the people around us. Already too many families have lost a parent, or grandparent, a son, or a daughter,” Mr. Ali said.

The President pointed out that the task before the country in 2021 is to reaffirm its belief in itself as one people and one nation, determined to rise together in harmony.

“Let us join our hands and our hearts in making 2021 the year we leap into a future of prosperity and progress,” Mr. Ali urged.

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