Region 10 Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira, believes that much more can be done to determine the effective spending of the $3.15 B allocated for sports, in the 2022 budget. In his budget debate speech on Monday, the MP who also serves as shadow Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport, told the House that he is not impressed with the vision and plan of the ministry, particularly that it has now received billions more to spend. He specifically called out the ministry, for not producing a national sports and youth policy.
“Our young people want you minister to tell us, tell this nation what are the ministry’s plans for the billions more it has received to develop, enhance and propel Guyana to higher heights in culture and sports, with the collective contributions of our country’s most valuable assets; our youths,” he said.
“This nation is yet to be made aware of the ministry and by extension the government’s overarching and time bound developmental plan for the country’s future in sports and all of its disciplines…….Guyana awaits his ministry’s national youth and sports policy.”
The Opposition MP called on the ministry to identify and prepare for several sports disciplines and focus on those disciplines as a national priority with a time frame, while not forsaking the potentials of the other disciplines. “We must have a phase by phase development strategy. The minister must retire the optics, who cares which staff cried on seeing the quality of chairs the culture center got, get on with the business of improving the lives of sports men and women.”
To achieve these goals, Figueira said the ministry needs to invest the available resources in the much needed durable infrastructure for those disciplines as well as to invest in the human resource responsible for those disciplines. He also called on the National Sports Commission, to honour its mandate and be deliberate in thought and action to have a national plan in tandem with the contributions of the respective sports associations, federation and affiliates for a national developmental plan for all sports disciplines rather than for members advance their own selfish interest.
“My Speaker, the ministry’s focus on sports must go beyond ground enhancement, balls distribution, and hustling the states resources for self-benefits.”
Speaking on culture, the shadow minister called for the urgent renovation of the national museum, the enhancement of heritage acquisition and the preservation of our historical collection and for much needed resources to go toward the development of music and arts for our young people.
Speaking on youth, Figueira claimed that planning is done for this demographic, without the necessary data to channel such planning. This include unemployment data.
Meanwhile Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr., said that the $3.15 B allocated will used for a variety of things that will see the development of sports. These include the upgrades to community grounds, that he claims were neglected by the APNU+AFC Administration. Specifically, $250 M, will go towards ground enhancement.