Azerbaijani president receives newly appointed officials via video meeting (PHOTO/VIDEO)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 21
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received in a video format Seymur Orujov due to his appointment as head of Aghstafa District Executive Authority and Elchin Rzayev due to his appointment as head of Imishli District Executive Authority.
The head of state addressed the video meeting.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev
- I am appointing you to the posts of heads of the Executive Authority of Aghstafa and Imishli districts. You have been given great confidence. You must justify it with your work.
The heads of the Executive Authority of Aghstafa and Imishli districts are arrested. The public has been informed about this. The investigation is under way now and law enforcement agencies will establish everything. The public has already been informed. The violations committed by the heads of the Executive Authority in Aghstafa and Imishli districts have also occurred in other districts, several heads of the Executive Authority are already under investigation. This once again shows that the fight against corruption, bribery and theft in Azerbaijan is conducted not just in word but in deed. And it will be continued. Currently, the activities of both local and central executive bodies are being examined now and all the violations committed will be revealed.
The fight against corruption and bribery in Azerbaijan should be merciless. I have already expressed my opinion on this matter. I want to say again: for the successful development of Azerbaijan and the sustainable development of our country, negative phenomena must be stopped. You also need to conduct a serious struggle with all the negative phenomena in the districts you will lead. Corruption, bribery and embezzlement must be eradicated. The state will provide you with great support in this. At the same time, it is necessary to involve the general public in these matters, as public oversight is a very important factor in the fight against negative phenomena. I am glad that the mechanisms of public control have been improving lately. First of all, you must analyze the situation and solve problems that concern people. As for the issues you cannot solve yourselves, you need to inform relevant central executive bodies so that these issues are quickly addressed.
The source of our work in the regions is the will of the people. As you know, the fourth state program on the socioeconomic development of regions is already under way. When all these programs are designed, preference is given to proposals from the ground. A special role in the preparation of these programs is played by my numerous visits to regions and districts, meetings with local residents as part of these trips. It is necessary to solve the issues that are pending and create difficulties for people in the regions. Therefore, when analyzing the situation, you must first identify issues of concern to our citizens.
As for infrastructure projects, as a result of the implementation of three state programs, a significant part of them has been completed. Everyone can see that today, people living in the regions can see that. At the same time, this is acknowledged by international organizations. It is no coincidence that a report of the Davos World Economic Forum ranks Azerbaijan second in the world in terms of access to electricity and in 30th place in terms of the quality of roads. Today, Azerbaijan is one of a handful of countries where the vast majority of gasification projects have completed and the level of gas supply is 96 percent. Drinking water projects are being implemented in all our cities: they have either been completed or are in their final stages. All this is the work done by the state, the investments made by the state. Most of the infrastructure projects have been completed. Therefore, your main goal should be to use this solid basis to ensure the socioeconomic development of the districts with your work. At the same time, all work must be done fairly. Justice should be the main principle in your work. In the current environment, during the pandemic, it is necessary to help people more and provide support. On the ground, this should primarily be done by heads of the Executive Authority, by executive bodies.
Of course, the Azerbaijani state is taking all necessary measures. I believe that the mechanism used in Azerbaijan in connection with the pandemic deserves the highest assessment. Taking into consideration the worsening of the social status of hundreds of thousands of people, we are helping them. In such a difficult situation, this help inspires people and also contributes to their material capabilities. We are doing this for people to be able to get out of this situation with small losses. First of all, the work done in the fight against coronavirus deserves the highest assessment. At the same time, the state should extend its helping hand to the people who have lost or temporarily lost their jobs in the aftermath of the coronavirus. Therefore, the state will always play a leading role in this matter, and you are the representatives of the Azerbaijani state on the ground. Your work also serves as a criterion for assessing the work carried out in Azerbaijan as a whole. If the head of the Executive Authority does not fulfill his official duties and, on the contrary, torments people, sets his eyes on their property and steals the help intended for those who are lonely, pockets the payment cards of people involved in community service, is engaged in theft, bribery and corruption, what can people think? You must set an example both at work and at home, work so that people are happy with you. If people are pleased with you, then I will be pleased with your work. Therefore, you need to deeply analyze the situation, make effort to resolve the issues awaiting resolution and contact the Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers and relevant state bodies to solve the problems you cannot solve.
Under the current conditions, the successful development of our country will primarily be ensured by the non-oil sector. Of course, the development of entrepreneurship is even more important. We are successfully dealing with these matters and a very large class of entrepreneurs has shaped up in Azerbaijan today. However, in some cases entrepreneurs are faced with difficulties. When they want to implement a project and make investments, they are faced with problems created by government officials. Some officials try to get a share in their projects, others set their eyes on business people’s income. This is completely unacceptable. On the contrary, you should attract entrepreneurs and try to convince them. There is competition for investment in the world these days. Countries put forward proposals to attract investors. Therefore, you must first convince local investors that they should invest in your districts, create jobs and thereby contribute to the development of the district. But what happens is that sometimes an entrepreneur wants to work but faced a thousand obstacles. This can’t be allowed.
The development of agriculture remains a priority area for us. In the current circumstances, large-scale programs for the development of agriculture are being implemented using modern methods. In this area, too, a lot depends on local executive bodies. Therefore, together with relevant state agencies, it is necessary to work on the development of agriculture, provide people with jobs, increase productivity and ensure all the factors that determine the development of agriculture, including the issue of equitable distribution of irrigation water. There are also major violations in this area and I receive complaints from the ground. There was a drought last year. It is observed this year as well, so we must use water very sparingly. For the correct analysis of all this work done and preparation of an action plan, a special commission has been set up on my decree. I have already been presented with preliminary results of its work. We can say that in some cases the losses reach 40-50 percent. This is unacceptable. Such a waste leads to major problems. Therefore, you should analyze the whole situation in this area. Of course, central executive authorities are dealing with this issue, ministers are represented on the commission. However, you need to pay serious attention to this work on the ground, do the inspections and inform us. If we only reduce these losses, we will be able to achieve greater progress in agriculture. At the same time, the issue of equitable distribution of water is also very relevant because, according to my information, in some cases entrepreneurs that are close to the heads of the executive authority are provided with water, while outsiders are not. This is unfair and must be stopped.
For several years now, we have been creating public jobs and increasing the number of people of this category every year. We started with 30,000. This year, 90,000 public jobs should be created on my instruction, and there are already results in this direction. However, unfortunately, due to the criminal actions of some heads of the executive authority, this sphere has also turned into the most corrupt and dirtiest of all. Heads of the executive authority were involved in the theft of payment cards of people involved in this work. Hundreds of payment cards have been found in the offices of all the arrested heads of executive authority and their entourage. This money is meant for the poor people who cannot find a job, especially during the pandemic when jobs are being cut and unemployment is growing in all countries, including Azerbaijan. In such a situation, setting one’s eyes on the poor people’s money is dishonesty and a crime. Therefore, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population has been instructed to exercise overall control and perform monitoring. You should also seriously analyze this work in the districts you will be leading and figure out how many people have been deprived of this opportunity by the criminal heads of the executive authority. We must restore justice.
In short, your activity should facilitate the socioeconomic development of the districts you are leading because, I want to say quite frankly, at least 90 percent of the work done in the regions over the past almost 17 years has been carried out on my initiative within the framework of state programs. A total of 16,000 kilometers of roads have been built, the entire electricity economy has been almost reorganized. We have increased the rate of gasification to almost 100 percent, more than 3,500 schools, more than 700 medical institutions, about 50 Olympic centers, many youth houses, cultural centers and other social facilities have been built. We did all this on my direct instructions at the expense of the state budget. And now let's see what the heads of executive authority have done, what they have created. All these affairs are being investigated now. Embezzlement also occurs during the construction of houses erected at the expense of the funds I have allocated on the site of emergency houses – both during construction and subsequent distribution of apartments. These houses are intended for distribution free of charge. However, there is a theft during construction and apartments are distributed for a bribe. Money is extorted from people. An audit is currently under way and officials involved in all of these violations will be held accountable. The head of the executive authority must justify the trust placed in him by his work.
I always exercise control over the work carried out in the regions. My numerous trips are also meant to identify the result, get acquainted with the work done, hear from people about their concerns so that we could resolve them. However, I can say that the heads of executive authority often do not leave their offices. All heads of the executive authority, including you, should meet with people in all the villages, listen to people’s problems and then make a decision. There are issues that remain unresolved simply because of indifference and irresponsibility. There are issues that do not require large funds or hard work. They simply don’t care. They believe that they should lead there as masters, torment people and ensure their own personal interests. There is no place among us for people with this mentality. They have no place here. Therefore, you should visit all villages, learn about problems from people and solve them. I want to say again: problems that cannot be resolved at the local level should immediately be brought to the attention of relevant central executive bodies.
Azerbaijan is renewing and modernizing today, and a lot depends on new personnel. A lot depends on your activity. People’s confidence, their mood and confidence in justice often depend on the work of local leaders. You must work so that people believe you, support you and are pleased with your work.
You should also know that attention will be paid to your activities and you will be under control. You need to work so that all my instructions are carried out and that the successful development of Aghstafa and Imishli districts continues to be provided.
Elchin Rzayev: Dear Mr. President, I express my deep appreciation to you for the high confidence. Aware of the depth of responsibility arising from this trust, I want to assure you that I will work tirelessly and do my best to fulfill the tasks entrusted to me in relation to our state and a dignified accomplishment of the goals set. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you!
Seymur Orujov: Dear Mr. President. On my own behalf and on behalf of the youth of the New Azerbaijan Party, I also want to express my deep appreciation to you for this high confidence. This is a manifestation of the confidence placed in the youth of the NAP. This trust is a great incentive for all Azerbaijani youth. In your speeches, you have repeatedly said that you rely on the Azerbaijani youth and trust it very much.
The foundation of today's youth activity in the country's public and political life was laid by the great leader because, dear Mr. President, during the period of the PFPA-Musavat government, which seized power in the early 1990s, Azerbaijani youth were forcibly torn apart from universities and jobs and sent to places where rallies and events to support their negligent leaders were held. Our youth was in a pessimistic mood. However, after the great leader came to power, the youth spirit returned to Azerbaijani youth. The great leader united all Azerbaijani youth around a single ideology of Azerbaijanism. Today, too, you are pursuing this policy in a new style, in a magnificent form.
Dear Mr. President, the Azerbaijani youth is indebted to you because you are pushing us forward in state bodies. At the same time, you and our First Vice-President are protecting the health of young people, the Azerbaijani people, because the misfortune that has gripped the whole world today demonstrates that many large states have failed to manage this process as clearly, in a timely manner and with as small losses as you. It comes from your leadership skills. After all, leaders manifest themselves on a difficult day. We, young people, are proud of this. The response of all heads of state and government to your call for holding summits of both the Turkic Council and the Non-Aligned Movement, your efforts to rid the planet of this disaster together are an example for the whole world and testify to the growing authority of Azerbaijan.
Dear Mr. President, I also promise you that I will serve the policies of Heydar Aliyev with all my strength, will make every effort to develop and improve the district, will serve my state, people and you with dignity. Your path is our path, Mr. President. Thank you again and let me express my gratitude to you again.
President Ilham Aliyev: Good luck!