President David Ganger today announced a change in portfolios of Ministers Dr. George Norton, Volda Lawrence and Amna Ally.
President Granger explained that Public Health Minister Norton will now assume the mantle of Social Cohesion. Minister of Social Protection Lawrence will shoulder the Public Health Ministry, and Social Cohesion Minister Ally will assume the portfolio of Social Protection.
H.E. President David Granger
“During 2016 there were some criticisms, and I felt the criticisms were detracting from the performance of the Cabinet as a whole. As a result, I thought it prudent to make the changes at the beginning of the year,” the President said.
The President added that there were also some criticisms about the quality of national unity and social cohesion, and Dr. Norton is capable of handling this portfolio.
“Dr. Norton first joined our partnership as the leader of the Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) and he has deep knowledge of the hinterland. When we look at social cohesion, we’re not only looking at Africans, Indians, we also have to look at the spacial dimension and I felt that he has an advantage in his knowledge of the hinterland because our administration is always striving to close the gap between the coastland and the hinterland,” President Granger explained.
The President pointed out that Minister Lawrence will bring relevant managerial skills necessary to the Ministry of Public Health, and will be able to execute her duties, effectively. “Largely the Ministry has management problems in terms of materials and human resources, and the delivery of resources to the various regions so because of her experience she will be ideally suited for that Ministry.”
Further, President Granger noted that Minister Ally is very knowledgeable about the needs of the ordinary people in the urban and rural areas. “Her knowledge of the problems affecting poor and others is great, and she will supplement the work done by Minister Lawrence.”
The President pointed out that it is his responsibility as head of the government to continuously assess the ability of Cabinet to fulfill its functions.
President Granger emphasised that all three Ministers are experienced members of the National Assembly and will execute their duties effectively.
He expressed his satisfaction with the portfolio shifts just as he was with the change of Minister Cathy Hughes from Tourism to Public Telecommunications and Raphael Trotman from Governance within the Ministry of the Presidency to Natural Resources.