Apr 08, 2021 Letters
Kaieteur News – It’s human nature. We often remember events how we want to rather than actually what happened and the reasons why. Take former President Donald Ramotar’s letter defending the gas to shore project even though he himself is not entirely sure there are any feasibility studies.
A case of “In Jagdeo We Trust”.
Sadly the Vice President’s record on big projects is woeful to say the least. Mr. Ramotar cites the cancellation of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project as being down to an obstructionist opposition. However he fails to recall that the PPP/C government could not even build the road to the site, Jagdeo having hired Fip Motilall as the contractor despite him having no experience. Ramotar himself cancelled that contract at a cost to taxpayers of US$15.4M.
Does he also not remember the Skeldon Sugar Plant, for which a Chinese contractor, China National Technology Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC), which had never actually built a sugar factory, was hired despite several independent objections?
It sits now as a ghastly US$200M monument to incompetence in conception and execution. You expand sugar production even as the European Union takes away preferred price arrangements? And worse as the 2016 Commission of Inquiry reported “This was the start of the decline of GuySuCo’s financial position leading to its present state of insolvency”. Even today each of us subsidizes Jagdeo’s blunder.
And let us also remember the mad haste to expand the airport runway and airport with a Chinese loan, most of which went on building a huge pile of sand (10.1M CuM) because no one in government bothered to do any feasibility or geotechnical studies.
There have been many other botched projects under the PPP/C such as the East Coast Road but of those Big Three they struck out three times.
So no, the general population does not have confidence in Jagdeo to execute what might end up being a US$500M white elephant. As of now it has all the hallmarks of what went before.
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