GEORGETOWN (GINA) – Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Kellawan Lall today met with Jamaican Local Government Minister Robert Montague and his Project Manager, Clive Edwards at his Fort Street, Kingston Office. The aim of the meeting was for the Jamaicans to have a better understanding of the local government system as it operates in Guyana, Minister Lall said. He noted that exchanges between the representatives were beneficial and would redound to the benefit of both countries
On his first visit to Guyana, Minister Montague revealed that Jamaica has always been fascinated with Guyana’s local government system and the way each facet functions to effectively oil the government machinery. Montague noted than in the discussions about local government and its implications regionally, there would be an attempt to endorse and copy the practices as exemplified in the Guyana context.
The Jamaican Minister said that his visit too was to broach discussions on local governance in the Caribbean, highlighting his country’s involvement in a project that seeks, with funding from Canadian agencies, economic development at the local government level, and yet another reason seeks to get CARICOM recognition for the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers.
With regard to the Jamaican system of local governance, Montague indicated that his country is in the final phases of local government reform, which sees the portfolio now vested in the office of the Prime Minister and for the first time gives local government Prime Ministerial oversight.
This, he said is the precursor for the system of local government to become entrenched in Jamaica’s constitution, and for direct funding to be given it from the Finance Ministry.
Also present at today’s encounter were Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall, Advisor to the Minister, former Minister Clinton Collymore, the Ministry’s Hinterland Coordinator, former Minister Harripersaud Nokta and Deputy Mayor Robert Williams.