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Pleadings made for sanity and good sense to save our beloved country could never be too much and too often.
Recent revelations showed that with Guyana’s bounteous oil and gas, gold and other precious minerals, our country with a population of less than a million must not only boast to be the fastest growing economy in the world but must also determine how that massive economic growth of wealth is utilized.
We have seen over the last several generations how this massive wealth can be a curse instead of a blessing in a number of countries.
I have no problem with the owners and shareholders of oil, gas and other non-renewable extractive minerals jumping for joy and happiness over their investment in Guyana.
After all, they made the initial investment and should benefit from it. The big question historically has been and remains whether the owners of those God-given resources are getting a fair deal and even more importantly is whether that enormous wealth is being fairly distributed so that the indigenous inhabitants, the children of slaves and the children of the Indentured labourers can live happy lives and be a contented people.
The answer for the solution is in the hands of our Leaders of Government, the political Oppositions, the Trade Union Movements, Leaders of Industry and Commerce, and our religious and social entities.
It is important that the first three named groups urgently develop a common strategy.
This strategy should ensure that this massive inflow of money is used first, to provide a proper professionally driven educational system which includes sporting and cultural development across the length and breadth of Guyana.
A National Service which caters to the development of male and female members of our society, a society where both genders are at risk and need urgent attention.
So that youngsters from the Corentyne Coast to the North-west and from the Rupununi savannah to the urban centres on the Coastland and the river-rain areas can meet in a controlled environment to learn more of their country and the real world and be given the stimulus to use their hands and heads to create a Guyana, where we can truly boast we are One People with a single dream for tomorrow in a rapidly changing world.
National Service requires proper planning and personnel. Fortunately, in Guyana today I can think of at least two persons, if given the mandate and scope, can take us to the mountain peak, Major General Joe Singh and Norman Mc Lean, both former Director Generals.
Second, a modern up-to-date health service, so that people don’t die or be made useless because they cannot afford to go abroad to deal with their medical problems.
A high-quality health service will also persuade the thousands of Guyanese living abroad to return bringing with them their families, their money and their skills.
Third, without delay, increase the salaries of those who are presently under pressure because of an increasing cost of living. No Government can deliver Utopia, but certainly with less than a million people every family should have the opportunity to obtain adequate housing in a safe and secure environment.
To buttress the above, the Government and Opposition must agree immediately on zero-tolerance on all forms of corruption, which at the moment is ripping asunder the fabric of our society. White collar crimes should be no more acceptable than blue collar crimes.
These matters must be discussed, setting aside all personal preferences and putting an end to our extant tribalism.
This is the breeding ground for others to put in place, the well-practiced imperialist policy of divide and rule.
I look forward to the day, just around the corner, when Guyana can reap the optimum benefit of its natural resources.
Dear Editor, can we do it?