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First gold poured at Aurora -President Granger pushes for economically

strong,well-managed mining industry

Georgetown, Guyana – (September 15, 2015) “This enterprise can become a successful model for large scale mining, and for sound environmental stewardship. It can become a matrix for our mineral driven economic renewal.” These were the sentiments expressed by President David Granger at commissioning and gold pouring ceremony of Guyana Gold fields Incorporated and Aurora Gold Mine Incorporated. “ We c o n g r a t u l a t e t h e G u y a n a Goldfields for commissioning this mine, and the first gold pour. I applaud the efforts of all who worked to bring this enterprise to this stage,” The P r e s i d e n t s a i d . T h e c o m p a n y, President Granger added, is now positioned to intensify production, and by so doing, contribute to its own profitability, the prosperity of the nation and to all Guyanese. “As you know, through our Sovereign Wealth Fund, we will ensure that a little piece of what is poured today and what is poured over the coming years will remain in that fund for posterity. Guyanese children must not be poor again,” the President said. Even as he spoke of his optimism for the company, he stressed that his government will be looking forward to the company's respect for local labour and occupational safety laws. “We wish you all success, and today we commit our government's support, not only to you, but to the entire gold

mining sector of our national economy,” President Granger said. “The gold mining sector is an important pillar of our national economy it continues to contribute to economic growth. Gold production in 2014 represented seven percent of Guyana's Gross Domestic Product,” President Granger pointed out. Now that production has commenced, close to 500 Guyanese will be retained for the operation, which has a mine life of 17 plus years. The projected corporate income tax is estimated at US$509 million. Projected payroll taxes are estimated at US$67 million; excise taxes, US$43 million. Meanwhile, Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, who has responsibility for the Natural Resources and the Environment sector, met with a delegation from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association

(GGDMA) separately, to discuss the recently released Mining Report which was produced by the Commission of Inquiry mandated to investigate mining accidents, on September 14. A draft plan of action was presented by acting Commissioner of the GGMC, Newell Dennison and included strategies for Occupational Health and Safety. In addition it includes plans for collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection, improvement at the technical levels, continuous and systematic training, enhancement of education and instituting a certification requirement for the General Managers of the mining operations, and public and miners' education. Minister Trotman acknowledged that the work to be done would require additional resources to be given to the GGMC and as such, he will be looking to have their budgetary allocation increased. Immediately after that meeting, Minister Trotman met with the new executive members of the GGDMA at their office to discuss matters emanating from the Report as well as other matters, which were of The Association has given its promise to Minister Trotman to work hand in hand with the Government of Guyana to ensure that the recommendations, which were made in the COI Mining Report, are implemented for a better mining sector.

Aviation Sector key to development of hinterland -President Granger

Georgetown, Guyana – (September 17, 2015) With a solid plan set out by the new administration for the improvement of the local aviation sector, President David Granger has called on stakeholders to exploit the opportunities that will present themselves over the next five years. The President laid out this plan for the sector as he joined with Trans Guyana Airways and the Correia Group of Companies for the commissioning of the new Raytheon Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, earlier this evening. Speaking at the event, the President announced that his government is also prepared to work with the sector and other stakeholders to achieve four major objectives that were set out in the 'Draft Aviation Policy'. These objectives will include; ensuring independent aircraft

accident investigation, enhancing the capability of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, expanding the hinterland aerodrome rehabilitation programme and establishing a permanent national 'search and rescue' agency. Describing the addition of the Raytheon Beechcraft 1900D aircraft to the local aviation sector as a “good move”, President Granger said this represents an expression of confidence in the future of domestic and commercial aviation. “This aircraft, undoubtedly, will improve the range, reliability, quality and competitiveness of aviation services to the vast reaches of our hinterland,” President Granger said. President Granger reminded the large gathering, that the hinterland is an essential element in Guyana's development and that it is the future frontier of economic

progress and territorial occupation. With this in mind, President Granger said his administration will make every effort to unlock the hinterland's vast wealth. However in so doing, he pointed out that the development of the local aviation sector will play a critical role. “We propose to do so in a sustainable way so that the future generations can also benefit from our national patrimony. Huge economic and social disparities separate the hinterland from the coastlands, we will pay increased attention over the next five years to reduce these inequalities by improving communication and transportation, thereby unlocking the hinterland's vast wealth,” the President pointed out. Pointing to the fact that over the years, domestic aviation has proven to be one of the keys to unlocking potential, the President added it is even clearer that domestic aviation supports essential economic activities. “Your government acknowledges and values the contribution of the aviation sector to our country's development. We are keen to ensure that this sector continues to expand and to provide improved services to all Guyanese,” he said. President Granger said his administration is prepared to complement private investment with public investment to create a more robust sector.

President Granger to participate in upcoming 70th session of UN General Assembly Georgetown, Guyana – (September 16, 2015) Head of State David Granger will be heading a delegation to the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which has already began in New York. Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, is also expected to be a part of the delegation, which will deliver Guyana's contribution towards the post-2015 development agenda.

During his stay, in New York, President Granger will engage other world leaders on bilateral matters and issues of mutual interest. Sustainable development, global security and efforts to diffuse ongoing conflicts, many of which have resulted in explosive global refugee crises, top the agenda of the 70th anniversary UN General Assembly session that has begun its work in New York. The United

Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech marathon will see more than 160 leaders in attendance. On September 25, His Holiness Pope Francis will address the UNGA, and from September 25-27, the Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda will convene. The General Debate of the 70th Session of the UNGA will take place from September 28 - 6 October.

Private sector teams up with Government to send 75 tons of rice to the Dominica

Georgetown, Guyana – (September 14, 2015) A shipment of 75 tons of rice will leave the shores of Guyana early Tuesday morning for the Island of Dominica, which was severely hit by Tropical Storm Erika a few weeks ago. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, was present at the Guyana National Industrial Company Incorporated (GNIC) Wharf earlier today, along with representatives of Fairfield Rice Incorporated, Tecnomills

Guyana Incorporated and Sagrice Groups Incorporated, to witness the loading of the containers. While making brief remarks on the occasion, Minister Harmon said the administration was very pleased to join forces with the members of the Private sector. This initiative, the Minister said, is a clear reflection of Guyana's ability to respond in times of need. “I think that this kind of collaboration between Government

and the private sector is important to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Guyana is a place where we respond to wherever there is a need and we are a giving people,” Minister Harmon said. Even as the Minister commended the Private sector for joining in the venture, he noted that the government is very pleased with the support shown since within only a matter of days, the quantity of rice for the shipment kept growing. “Initially when we spoke we were targeting 25 tons, but as the days went by more people came out to show their support in a more dynamic way,” Minister Harmon added. This venture is a joint initiative, and includes assistance from GNIC, Tropical shipping, the Guyana Rice Development Board and the Civil Defence Commission. The tropical storm, which struck the small Caribbean island has not only left behind severe damage, and also 20 people dead.

Skills training programme launched for Buxton-Friendship youths Georgetown, Guyana – (September 14, 2015) Residents or Buxton-Friendship and surrounding communities today welcomed the launch of a project that is aimed at educating and empowering their youth population. The Buxton Youth Development Initiative, which is the brainchild of First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger, was officially launched at the Friendship Primary School. The project is designed to prepare young adults for the world of work by providing them with training in the areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), literacy and numeracy, entrepreneurship, and sexual reproductive health. The First Lady who was present at the launch said that, “We cannot build a

strong nation unless our communities are strong." She urged the youths to take full advantage of this opportunity to better their lives. At the end of the programme, participants will be awarded with a certificate, which is accredited by the Board of Industrial

Training (BIT). The Buxton Youth Development Initiative is a pilot project that is being spearheaded by the Office of the First Lady. Similar projects will be rolled out in other communities across Guyana.

Government will not interfere with State Boards- Minister Harmon

Georgetown, Guyana – (September 18, 2015) Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has declared that the Government will not interfere with any of the appointed State Boards, but will allow them to function independently. He was at the time responding to questions posed by journalists at this week's post Cabinet press briefing, on whether the newly appointed Guyana National Broadcasting Authority's Board will be reviewing and revoking

radio licenses, which were freely granted under the former administration. “We've always said that these boards must be independent and they must act in an independent manner. The Boards will know based on what they have seen before it, what it is that they have to do. We will not give any directions to the board as to what they have to do,” Minister Harmon said. Minister Harmon said that while the licenses were granted due to

political interference in the past administration, the new administration has no plans to 'travel the same route', which they have spoken out against. In this regard, he said that it is the responsibility of the Guyanese people to approach the Boards if there are any issues, while reiterating that the Government will rely on the credibility and integrity of the members to do what is best for the country and its citizens.

Government will not engage the PPP in the media on unity talks - Minister of State Georgetown, Guyana – (September 18, 2015) The new Government will discuss national unity with the Opposition, People's Progressive Party in the media. So declared Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at today's post Cabinet p r e s s B r i e fi n g . “We are still open to conversation and discussions on the matter and we trust that the PPP would see the necessity for this form of governance… This administration is ready for talks with the PPP any day that they are ready for us to start the conversation on a government of national unity… We do not intend however, to engage the PPP in the press. We will engage that party sitting down face to face, across the table and making decisions in the interest of this country,” Minister H a r m o n s a i d . The Minister was responding to questions on whether government has taken note of the statements

made by the Opposition, that it was disappointed that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has been selected to lead the discussions on n a t i o n a l u n i t y. The Minister of State said that while the government is one that listens and take note of criticisms, it will not engage any person or organisation who uses the media to share their concerns without first approaching the government. He added, “Responsible parties sit and engage each other in a professional manner.” Further, Minister Harmon said that while the PPP may have signaled its disapproval of the Prime Minister leading the team, this had not been communicated to the administration. However, the Minister said that the Prime Minister possessed the confidence of the administration he is more than capable of leading the t a l k s . “To the extent where they are concerns about our delegation, we

believe that a responsible political party would write to us to say that they have concerns about the composition of the team. So I will not venture to give any answer to the PPP or anyone who feels the need to engage us in the press. Let Mr. Jagdeo, Mr. Rohee and the PPP come to us and say what they don't want but as of now, that is our team. The PM has our full confidence. We feel he is a fair and just person and capable of leading the team,” he s a i d . The team which was commissioned by President David Granger, headed b y P r i m e M i n i s t e r, M o s e s Nagamootoo, will include Vice Presidents, Khemraj Ramjattan and Carl Greenidge, Minister Joseph Harmon, Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams and Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman.

Ministry of the Presidency Newsletter - September 18 2015  
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