Safe City project is a component of the National Broadband Expansion Programme

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications wishes to correct the misinformation contained in the ‘Peeping Tom’ column published in the Kaieteur News on Monday September 2 under the title “Walk safe and hope for the best”.

The fact is that the Safe City Surveillance System is a component of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications’ National Broadband Expansion Project.

Public Telecommunications Minister, Cathy Hughes, and Head of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), Floyd Levi, first introduced the project on August 14 and 15, 2018 during public discussions on advanced broadcast technologies.   They identified the project’s main deliverables as:-

Safe City Surveillance System which is enabling law enforcement to access critical information in real time, and improve their response time to crises

Extending the ICT networks into the hinterland to equalize our citizens’ access to information, education, healthcare, business, etc.

On Saturday September 22, 2018, then Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang Yi, signed the Agreement to boost Guyana’s Broadband Access.  Then on October 26, 2018 Ministers Cathy Hughes and Winston Jordan, along with Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, H.E. Cui Jianchun, signed a Concessional Loan Agreement for US$37.6 Million provided by the China Exim Bank to finance the project.

It is distressing that a supposedly experienced columnist like ‘Peeping Tom’ seemed not to have checked the large store of information that is available from many online sources, including the newspaper that publishes the column.  Most media houses continue to publish articles on the Broadband project, and their introduction to the high tech Command Centre for the Surveillance System in July received wide coverage.

For emphasis, the National Broadband Expansion project is entirely separate from the Citizens Security Strengthening Programme.