The Government of Guyana spends an average of just over $1.6 Million per month to take care of the security, transportation and electricity bills for former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The figure was revealed by the Finance Minister Ashni Singh in a written response in the National Assembly on Thursday as he answered questions about the former President’s benefits, which were posed by APNU Member of Parliament Desmond Trotman.
The Finance Minister told the National Assembly that in 27 months, the Government of Guyana spent $45 Million to cover the three expenses for the former President.
Mr. Jagdeo who now lives on a sprawling seaside estate, racked up close to $10 Million in electricity charges from the time he demitted office in December 2011 to February 2014. During that period, some months were brighter than others, as his electricity charges peaked over $1 Million during two months.
The Government has also spent over $15 Million to cover Mr. Jagdeo transportation bills. That would include state vehicles and the fuel for those vehicles. The Finance Minister did not disclose the number of state vehicles assigned to the former President, but it is believed that he has the same number of vehicles assigned to him, as the current President.
Mr. Jagdeo also enjoys a Presidential guard security detail with an undisclosed number of personnel. But that unit for the former President has cost taxpayers over $20.3 Million in 27 months.
The Opposition Member Desmond Trotman also asked the government for the amount spent on the former President’s health bills. That was not provided.
Last year, the Opposition parties using their majority passed amendments to the former President’s Bill which would see the state spending less on benefits for Former Presidents. President Ramotar has refused to sign the bill into law.