Please allow me to respond to Mr. Roger James of NICIL, who has publicly called on me to point out the mistakes caused by the proliferation of Caretaker President David Granger’s style of unilateral decision making. (Kaieteur News 10.09.2019)
Mr. James spends an inordinate amount of time to state four points:
1. The acquisition of GUYSUCO assets did not need the approval of the Board or Minister of Agriculture.
2. The NICIL Special Projects Unit (SPU) was set-up by Winston Jordan and does not need the approval of Cabinet for its transactions.
3. Borrowing at a high-interest rate while investing capital at a much lower rate are unique transactions and are not related.
4. The $30 Billion bond is not a costly mistake. Nothing is offered to back NICIL’s claims that these are good actions, save and except that “the establishment of the SPU has further enhanced the management and operation of NICIL”.
Editor, my reply to vesting of GUYSUCO assets is constrained by sub judice rules, suffice to say I have been advised by my lawyers that it is trite company law that shareholders cannot deal with the assets of an incorporated company being managed by a Board; this is one of the questions that will be answered soon enough by the courts in the matter of GBL INC. V NICIL, of which I am the Plaintiff.
GUYSUCO itself issued a statement (6.12.2019) saying “NICIL had even speciously appointed its own Board of Directors in March of 2018, with Mr. Colvin Heath-London as its Chairman, this decision was quashed by the Government, however, NICIL has never abandoned the misconception that, GuySuCo, an independent corporate agency, by Law, according to the Company’s Act, is neither a department, unit or owned by NICIL”
I maintain the removal of Cabinet approval from the use of state assets is contrary to good sense, never mind best practice. Borrowing at high interest while lending at low rates is a recipe for bankruptcy, the drastic reduction in Government reserves since 2015 is proof that the Jordan ‘mathematical formulas’ are not working in the best interest of the public.
Granger’s administration inherited the following in 2015: Gross international reserve at BOG US$ 666.6 million. Non-Reimbursable and High concessional Financing: EU budget grants totaling €25.9 million of which €20.2 million relate to sugar support programme, with all conditions associated with disbursement already being met. Climate payments totaling US$ 250 million under the Guyana/Norway partnership of which US $190 million already earned and only US $ 40 million disbursed.
Concessional resources secured for developmental projects:
• US $ 130 million from China’s Eximbank to construct a new International airport.
• US $ 66.2 million from IADB to fund road network upgrade and expansion project.
• US $64.6 million from IADB to fund power utility upgrade programme.
• US $50 million from India Eximbank to fund East Coast to East Bank bypass road.
• US $34.4 million from CDB to fund West Coast Demerara highway upgrade project.
• US $ 31.7 million from the IADB and EU to fund a water and sanitation infrastructure improvement project.
• US $ 15 million from IADB for new Citizen security project
• US $ 12 million from World Bank for a flood risk management project
• US $ 10 million from World Bank for secondary education improvement project.
• US $ 10 million from World Bank for UG science and technology support project.
• US $ 7.5 million from CDB to fund a sugar industry mechanisation project.
With all of the above projects and financing in place upon assumption of Office, the Granger administration still pursued the population for money, raising existing taxes, introduction new taxes, closing ‘loopholes’, all of which increased revenue collection by over $80 Billion per year. Churchill’s contention that ‘for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” is lost on this administration.
Amidst all this available finance left in place by the PPP for projects, NICIL approached the commercial banks for a loan of $30 Billion to finance the conversion of the Skeldon estate compound to a resort, while the LBI estate lounge has been made into a ‘Sports bar’ luxury hangout for the APNU elite.
The retooling and restructuring of GuySuCo as outlined in the Government of Guyana State Paper on the Future of the Sugar Industry has not been attempted much less executed. GUYSUCO has complained that “NICIL/SPU are mere custodians of the Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore and Wales assets of GuySuCo for the specific purpose of facilitating divestments as envisaged in the State Paper on the Future of the Sugar Industry, the proceeds of which must be remitted to GuySuCo in order to fund its Strategic Plan, NICIL/SPU ought not to be the beneficiaries of the proceeds as currently obtains”.
The $30 Billion bond is backed by a sovereign guarantee, which means that the taxpayer will pay this ‘loan’ back in full, complete with $8.4 Billion in interest after NICIL is done spending on frivolous projects.
This is the legacy of David Granger; as he is being exposed as untrustworthy, lacking in management skills, demonstrating poor leadership, engaging in trivial pursuits and single-handedly moving Guyana from a Constitutional democracy to a dictatorship.
Feb 26, 2020Narayan Ramdhani (The Kings University) and Priyanna Ramdhani (Olds College) were both selected to represent the Province of Alberta at CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) national...
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