Premier renews calls for people-centred development

NYAGATARE – Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, Monday, said that the Government was mainly interested in people-centred development projects.

NYAGATARE – Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, Monday, said that the Government was mainly interested in people-centred development projects.

He made the remarks while on a tour of various development projects in Nyagatare District, including a multimillion granite plant expected to commence operations by February 29.

Habumuremyi said the plant, which will produce high quality granite tiles, was guaranteed total governmental support, including connection to the national power grid.

He advised local industries to think about potential market for their products, as well as the socio-economic impact they have on the population.

“Industries should be sustainable; possible market and competitors must be assessed. It is also important that it offers employment and training for Rwandans,” he advised.

The Prime Minister, who later visited a rice scheme in Kirumburi, stressed the significance of enhancing people’s capacity and letting them actively participate in a range of development programmes. He noted that while the rice scheme was admirable, it should be operated in a way that does not leave the former landowners complaining.

“Start by defining people’s needs and empower them to take action…they are the beneficiaries,” he advised.

The 1,400 hectare Kirumburi rice scheme that will be largely mechanised, displaced hundreds of people, some of whom were reportedly not compensated.

The PM tasked officials of the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that not one single resident was left complaining.

“We are in office first and foremost to serve the people…it thus beats logic to have a huge project like this, while we leave people dissatisfied. Compensate those with genuine claims…this is an obligation you can’t dodge,” Habumuremyi said.

He later visited Cover Dam rice cooperative in Rukomo, which is on the verge of collapse after its leadership allegedly fleeced it of its entire capital. The cooperative, which was launched in 1987, was left with crippling debts.  He promised members of the cooperative that he would go back to visit them in a fortnight, with solutions to their issues.

“Your problems are enormous…the ministers here with me and others concerned will come back in two weeks with solutions. We can’t allow things to continue this way,” he pledged.

The Premier concluded his tour by visiting a few rural family households, advising them to improve on their hygiene.

stephen.rwembeho@newtimes.co.rw

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