In his first New Year’s Address to the Nation as Head of State, President David Granger declared that the year 2016 must be seen as Guyana’s year for renewal.
During the broadcast, the President said “this is a time for a national renaissance. The prospects are bright. The portents are propitious. This New Year is a time to chart our course for the next five years to 2020 and beyond.”
Mr. Granger reminded that 2016 will be a special year for Guyana as it serves as an opportunity “to hasten our economic recovery, to strengthen our social integration and to deepen our mutual,cultural understanding.”
“We, the Guyanese people, shall commemorate the Golden Jubilee of our Independence on 26th May. This 50th anniversary of our nation’s Independence –our ‘quinquagenary’ – is a time for determination, decision-making and decisive action.”
The President said that as a nation, Guyana is proud of its achievements over the past fifty years, adding that “we shall be prouder if we use this special year of our ‘national renaissance’ to remove the remaining obstacles that still keep us disunited, underdeveloped and insecure.”
He said Guyanese chose to change the country’s political culture when they elected a multi-party coalition in 2015 and it is now time for a national renaissance and a new beginning.
“It is time to redouble our efforts to banish crime, disease, ignorance and poverty”, Granger declared.
The President also listed the following areas as priorities for his government in 2016.
- “National Unity: We shall reinforce national unity. We can be one nation only if all sections of our population feel that they share in our country’s development. We must, in 2016, dispel hatred among individuals and groups. We must move forward as a united nation, constantly reaffirming our national motto –‘One people, One nation, One destiny.’
- National Infrastructure: We shall extend our physical infrastructure in order to foster integration and promote development. We shall, at the same time, provide greater access to the resources of the hinterland which can be exploited for the benefit of all of our people. National infrastructure will provide the means to integrate the coastland with the hinterland.
- National Institutions: We shall fortify our national institutions which promote a sense of national identity and ensure a stable legal and constitutional environment. We shall defend the integrityand independence of our National Assembly, the judiciary and the autonomous agencies.
We shall equip the enforcement arms of the state with the resources to enable them to serve our citizens and safeguard our independence. We shall ensure that local government elections are conducted this year to empower our people to better administer their communities. We shall respect and preserve our national symbols and monuments, assert our identity and celebrate our achievements.
- National Security: We shall continue to reinforcenational security in order to protect the country’s patrimony in the face of threats from our neighbours to the east and west. We must also secure our citizens from the threat of national and transnational crime, violence and chaos.
- Public Services: We shall continue to work to ensure public trust by improving and extending education,health, sanitation, water supply, electricity services, affordable housing,social protection to the vulnerable and decent working conditions to everyone. Public services must also include having happy households in safe communities with adequate facilities for recreation.”