The estimates of expenditure for Region 10, totalling $2.25B were approved Monday evening in the National Assembly. Of this sum, $148.1M is budgeted for regional administration and finance, $280.7M for public works, $1.48B for education and $345.3M for health care delivery.
APNU Member of Parliament (MP), Renis Morian inquired about a $1M allocation for the maintenance of infrastructure. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Norman Whittaker explained that these include: external works to the Vice-Chairman’s quarters at Retrieve ($300,000), development officer’s quarters ($300,000) and works on the Government compound ($400,000).
He also questioned the number of vehicles assigned to the regional office and the Minister informed that these include: one Nissan pickup (purchased in 2011), a hilux (purchased in 2011) and two boats and engines. The total sum budgeted for the maintenance of these vehicles amounted to $1.1M.
Meanwhile, APNU MP, Vanessa Kissoon inquired about the condition of the vehicle that was assigned the Regional Chairman. The Minister said that the vehicle, a black hilux- PNN 7756 is currently undergoing repairs and that another vehicle is hired for the Chairman to use at present.
The sum of $1M is budgeted for training and scholarships and the Minister was asked by Morian to inform the House of the various training programmes that were held in 2013 and those slated for 2014.
In his reply, Minister Whittaker said that this year, a four-day training programme will be conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors; while another will be held by IPED to focus on budget, financing and project management.
Additionally, the University of Guyana’s Institute of Distance and Continuing Education in Linden will also facilitate a programme which will focus on communications and effective speaking. This will run for duration of six weeks.
With regards to the programmes that were held during 2013, the Minister gave a commitment that this information will be provided to the House at the earliest.
As it relates to public works, questions were asked about the buildings that are slated for maintenance this year. While Minister Whittaker committed to providing a detailed list, but he informed that it would include buildings in areas such as: Kwakwani, Wismar, the Amerindian Hostel in Retrieve, Fair’s Rust, South Ameila’s Ward and Crabwood Street. The total sum slated to be expended is $15M.
Similarly, some of the roads that will be rehabilitated with the budgeted sum of $41M are located in areas such as Mackenzie, Industrial Area Linden, Wismar, First Access Road Linden, Retrieve, Upper Independence Avenue and Wisrock among others.
Kissoon was also informed that under the wider programme of maintenance of bridges, the Katabuli Bridge will be rehabilitated at a cost of $500,000.
Under the capital budget for education, Kissoon inquired about the provisions of procurement of solar panels, Minister Whittaker informed that these systems include pumps which are being provided to a number of outlying villages including, Malali, Muritaro, Wairuni, Hururu, Mabura, Calcuni, and Maria Henrietta among others at the cost of $336,000 per unit.