July 26, 2018 (Georgetown, Guyana) — Today in Georgetown, Guyana at the inaugural National Conference of Local Democratic Organs (NCDLO), President David Granger called on local democratic organs to drive the revitalization and renewal of villages, in which the majority of the Guyanese population still reside. He also challenged leaders at the level of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), to be more proactive and improve their revenue collection rather than becoming wholly dependent on Central Government.
“Local government organs must be autonomous to allow them to serve their residents’ best interests. They must not be dominated by or become dependent on Central Government. Local government organs must deliver quality public services to residents. The provision of public services is vital to improving the living and working conditions within neighbourhoods and villages,” he said. The Head of State pointed out that NDCs and municipalities are bound by the Constitution to provide services such as the maintenance of bridges, drainage and irrigation structures, roads, security, street-lighting, sanitation, sporting and recreational facilities; promotion education, employment and economic enterprises, including cottage industries and health and preservation of values and culture at the level of communities.
Also keynoting the conference were Guyana’s Minister of Communities, Mr. Ronald Bulkan as well as Axilogic co-founder and CEO, Michael C. Chettleburgh. In his speech, Mr. Bulkan noted that “Democratically elected local authorities have to come up with ways to generate the revenue needed to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities and ensure their autonomy”. Mr. Chettleburgh closed out the event, noting the important role of accurate and equitable property classification and valuation in respect to revenue mobilization at the local level and its essential role in allowing Guyanese communities to achieve their human, social and economic development potential.
Government and Media Coverage
- iNews Guyana article
- Department of Public Information release
- Stabroek News article
- Guyana Chronicle article
- Kaieteur News article