Newly assigned Minister of Communication Jamal Mohammed said yesterday that one of his core responsibilities will be informing the public of how billions of taxpayers' money are being spent by the People's Partnership Government.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the appointment of Mohammed, a former host of the long-running popular East Indian cultural show Mastana Bahar to head the new Ministry of Communication.
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Mohammed pointed out that since the People's Partnership Government assumed power in May 2010, some $100 billion was spent in the span of two years.
"It is important that the people, who are the taxpayers, who are the owners of that money — they have a right to know how it is being spent, what is being done and where the Government is going,'' he said.
"They have to make informed choices about how the Government is using the resources and how it is being used to the benefit of their lives. My duty as Minister of Communication would be to communicate that to the people — so they would understand how this Government is working on their behalf,"said Mohammed.
Mohammed said he also intends to ensure that everyone — be it Government Minister, Ministry official and public officials are on the same page.
"I want to make sure everybody is on the same page and we singing from the same book and we saying the same things and not contradicting each other," he said.
Mohammed, when questioned, admitted that he was "very surprised and honoured" when the Prime Minister asked him to become Communication Minister.
He said this Ministry and appointment was necessary as "majority are not aware of the things the Government has done and they have in the pipelines,",
Mohammed, a member of the Congress of the People (COP), is the brother of chairman of the Barataria/San Juan Regional Corporation and long time PNM member Nafessa Mohammed.
Contacted yesterday for comment on her brother's ministerial appointment N Mohammed responded, "He is my brother who I love dearly and I wish him the very best in his new portfolio and I know him to be a person of impeccable character and integrity and you can only hope that some of it would rub off in the conduct of the affairs of the Government."