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by Nicole Telford–“The oil wealth is not trickling down to the people of Guyana,” stated Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton. He emphasized that there appears to be no specific plan from the People’s Progressive Party Civic Government to address this issue and highlighted concerns about corruption within the infrastructure sector. Norton went on to express his primary concern, saying, “Of most concern to us is the government’s budget and allocation of resources; clearly, it is not aimed at putting money into the hands of the people of Guyana.”
During an appearance on Caribbean ShowTime TV, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Opposition Parliamentary Leader Aubrey Norton discussed ongoing infrastructure projects in Guyana. He criticized these projects, stating that they primarily benefit an elite group consisting of the government’s friends and favorites.
In a recent Facebook post, Attorney at Law Nigel Hughes of the Hughes Fields and Stoby Law Firm highlighted the importance of (accessing racially) disaggregated data in assessing national development in Guyana. Hughes’ post pointed out that in the Region 5 area, between Union/Naarstigheid and Fort Wellington, approximately 30 roads were designated for improvement. However, the predominantly Indian-populated Bush Lot was allocated 23 out of the 30 roads, while the predominantly African communities of Number 30 Village, Number 28 Village, Catherine Lust, Number 22 Village, Hopetown, Lovely Lass, and Onverwagt were each assigned only one road.
Meanwhile, during the Caribbean ShowTime TV program, Norton raised concerns about the government’s approach to infrastructure development. He argued that rather than focusing on redoing existing roads in PPP/C strongholds, the government should prioritize infrastructure road work that connects Regions 10, 7, 8, and 9, leading to Lethem. Norton believed that such a road would create immediate employment opportunities, make land available for housing, and reduce the cost of living. He criticized the current infrastructure development on the coast, noting that it has led to unplanned traffic congestion on the East Bank Demerara. Norton explained that roads were constructed on the inside of the East Bank, redirecting some of the congestion problems to Georgetown.
Norton emphasized that proper planning should have included a road from Soesdyke to the Mahaica-Mahaicony area, facilitating travel for those coming from the West Coast of Berbice without having to go through Georgetown. He added that a planned Soesdyke-Mahaica-Mahaicony road infrastructure would open up coastal lands for agricultural use. Norton concluded by expressing his belief that the current infrastructure projects undertaken by the PPP/C government are not effectively addressing the issues facing Guyana.