7.1 Mr. Speaker, the broad policies and programmes that are outlined in this Budget attest to the Government’s commitment to move the country for the benefit of all Guyanese, regardless of whether one hails from the coast or the clay belts of Berbice, the reefs and villages of Demerara, or the highlands and savannahs of the mighty Essequibo.

7.2 Nation building, as we know, is by no means an easy task, especially for a country like ours with its difficult past. This legacy continues to be a source of pain for all Guyanese who stand not for conflict but for goodwill, peace, progress and prosperity. For too long we have talked about Guyana’s potential. Now is the time for us to take drastic actions to convert potential into reality by harnessing our natural and human resources for the common good. If nothing else, we will be honouring the aspirations of our ancestors who came from diverse parts of the world, under trying conditions, who lived a life of toil and sacrifice, in the rigours of a tropical climate, for the promise of a better Guyana for succeeding generations. Let us not make their toils in vain by abandoning the rule of law and literally embracing the laws of the jungle.

7.3 Mr. Speaker, it is recorded that time and age pass on before our very eyes, the days which are gone never return. Why squander our future by conflict? Learning from our past, we must now look to the future with renewed optimism. Let us, with one purpose, retool our proverbial swords into ploughshares. Let us work to create wealth and opportunities for a better today and a brighter tomorrow for all of us. I call on all Guyanese to embrace our common vision and earn the satisfaction of a job well done.

7.4 May God bless Guyana and thank you.