Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, newly appointed Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, met with senior officials of the Ministry at Kent House to discuss the way forward.
During the regularly scheduled meeting of departmental heads, Minister Hosein, assured, “While I may be new to this job, I am well acquainted with issues pertaining to local government and I intend to be a Minister who is well connected with what is happening on the ground.”
Minister Hosein was briefed by senior officials about the critical challenges of the Ministry and the major initiatives budgeted for fiscal year 2017. In addition to the progressive implementation of Local Government Reform, the three major infrastructural projects of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government are the construction of the Moruga Fishing Port and facilities, the rehabilitation of the main arterial road in Moruga known as Saunders Trace and the construction of two administrative complexes for the Penal/Debe and Diego Martin Regional Corporations respectively.
While all Ministries have been affected by budgetary cuts, senior officials all pledged their support to making optimal use of the available resources in order to deliver the required services to the public. Minister Hosein gave his commitment to ensuring that Ministry staff have what they need to perform well even in lean times by cutting away any wastage, duplication and corruption which may exist in the system. He also shared his secret to success to date, “I am a simple person. I have always made myself available and accessible to the people. Almighty God has placed me here and I believe I got this far in life by being simple so I’m not going to change my disposition.”
Other matters discussed included ongoing internal audits being conducted in selected Regional Corporations; pending legal matters including acquisition of lands; refurbishment of Kent House to ensure a safe and stimulating work environment for staff; induction of Councillors after the Local Government election and other matters of interest.
Currently, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government employs more than 10,000 persons including permanent staff, daily paid staff and contract officers at the Ministry’s headquarters and Municipal Corporations combined.