Opposition demands proof that GY$273 million benefitted ordinary Guyanese

Last Updated on Monday, 5 September 2022, 13:44 by Denis Chabrol

Randolph Critchlow

The opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has retaliated at government’s move to ask for details about how the government-funded International Decade for People of African Descent- Guyana (IDPADA-G) has spent an estimated GY$500 million over the past four years.

Randolph Critchlow, who co-chaired a public meeting at Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, questioned how GY$145 million has been spent by the Youth Advisory Council from 2020 to 2022,  GY$70 million by the Office of the Commissioner of Information and the GY$58 million by the Office of the First Lady.

“So when Jagdeo coming to ask what IDPADA-G do with their money, ask him what did the Youth Advisory Council do with the $145 million,” he said. “Ask Jagdeo what the First Lady do with $58 million before he come and ask IDPADA-G what they do with their money for five years, ask them what the First Lady do with the 58 million in two years,” said Mr Critchlow a member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).

He urged opposition supporters to demand accountability for monies that have been allocated and spent by those state entities. “Folks, these are the questions that you need to ask. Don’t let Jagdeo come and tell you stupidness. When he come and talk stupidness, you shy these numbers in his chest. Tell him: ‘where the money gone’,” he said.

In response to a request by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson for detailed records on how IDPADA-G has spent the funds allocated by government, the Chief Executive Officer of that organisation, Olive Sampson has since responded and attached a copy of a a report on an audit that had been conducted by the Central Internal Audit Unit of the Ministry of Finance for the period 2018-2021.

IDPADA-G has also offered government to agree to an independent auditor to audit its records from January 2022 to present.

Meanwhile Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has refused to pay IDPADA-G Chairman Vincent Alexander GY$50 million or an agreed amount for libeling him.

Mr Jagdeo, through his lawyer, has defended his utterances as fair comment in his quest for accountability of public funds.  He has publicly asked for evidence that Afro-Guyanese have benefitted from the GY$500 million that have been received from government.