Kurt Campbell reports…
While addressing members of the local business community on Tuesday, APNU+AFC Presidential Candidate David Granger harshly criticized the 22 – year – old People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) administration for its “mismanagement” of the country’s natural resources and its “unacceptable” efforts to transform the developing nation into a world class economy.
Granger said his intention was not to be unkind to the incumbent but questioned how a country with endowed resources such as Guyana could still be a land of impossibilities for thousands.
And the Presidential Candidate tried to make his point by drawing reference to a statement made by a British General during World War 1. That General summarized the British Infantry as “Lions led by donkeys”.
Granger said Guyana follows a similar path and he believes “Guyana is a land of jaguars but we are led by jackasses,” he said, adding that “people want development, people want to get out, they want to be rich, they want to be like other countries but they are led by jackasses.”
Granger said he believes that the PPP/C policies are not intelligent in accordance with the needs of the people of Guyana.
The Opposition Leader was addressing the first of a two part series of political discourses organized by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), to give the private sector an opportunity to interact with leaders in the early stages of the elections campaign.
Granger utilized the opportunity to outline his own strategy for creating a world class environment in which businesses, both local and foreign, can strive.
He spoke of the need for massive infrastructural upgrades for outlining and interior regions that are currently plagued by limited to no electricity and the absence of essential services like banks.
“People want to break out, people want to prosper but the jackass won’t let them,” Granger added.
He explained that his plan for transforming the economy will be built on ensuring Guyanese have access to sound education which will in turn ensure a skilled workforce. He spoke of his dream to transform the University of Guyana into a Five Star University that will graduate world class Guyanese entrepreneurs.
“I will not build this nation with hotels and casinos but with universities and colleges… we can’t build a world class economy on the rubble of a broken education system,” he reasoned.
Mr. Granger spoke of the need to ensure safety and stability in the business environment and he gave a commitment to ensuring both under an APNU+AFC coalition government.
He responded to questions on foreign investment and noted his full support for such investments but said a level playing field must at all times be in place for local and foreign investors.
The Presidential Candidate promised better support for the local manufacturing sector with a commitment to solving the problem of cheap and reliable energy.
He said the coalition’s strategy is to reduce the economy’s reliance on sugar and rice and move towards diversification and more investment in manufacturing and trade.
His plans for a complete economic turnaround were extensive and called on the business community to support them and “not allow this country of jaguars to continue to be led by jackasses.”
Meanwhile, President of the GMSA Clinton Williams said he believes there is a need for a complete revamp of the political and social cultures if Guyana were to attract and sustain the type of investment that would contribute to national development.
He begged that political engagements this year would be characterized by informed and objective discourse.
Filed: 17th March, 2015