Kaieteur News – Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo, chose his words carefully when he was asked about the performance of the CEO of GuySuCo, Sasenarine Singh. It is for the analyst to meticulously breakdown the words to bring out the deeper meaning.
In reporting on what the VP said, Newsroom wrote the following, “In an invited comment on Monday, Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo refused to say whether the government was satisfied with Singh’s performance over the last year.”
Here now are more observations of the VP on the issue, “Clearly, whether the CEO stays or not, we have to strengthen management outcome and investment.”
I know of no government in the entire world that has not been disappointed in many party campaigners after they were given important positions. It is a ubiquitous fact in all countries.
Party supporters must be rewarded for bringing their organisation into office. It is a commonsensical rule in politics. If an engineer worked hard for his party then when victory comes, there is legitimate expectation. But they are expected to do good in their work. There will be changes in many office-holders in all countries because some performances may not be considered top class by the president or prime minister or the hierarchy of the party in government.
When President Granger chose Dr. Mark Bynoe, an environmental economist, to be director of energy, it was met with national surprise because of the role reversal. The expert in oil, Dr. Vincent Adams, was put at the EPA while the environmental specialist was put in charge of oil. There was widespread criticism of this mistaken direction including from this columnist.
I don’t know what is taking place at GuySuCo because I have done no research of the things going on there. Naturally, I get my information about things from people. I have heard some trenchant criticisms of GuySuCo’s CEO for the past year which should be investigated. All, and I emphasis, all, have been said by people who I would consider PPP supporters. All and I emphasise again, all, have been Indians so there could be no suspicion of racial motive.
I have never acted on those, some of which came from people with sound knowledge of the sugar industry and who currently work under the CEO. I have never paid any intention to the extent that I wanted to do a column on the subject. After Mr. Jagdeo’s words on the industry, however, I thought I should share my thoughts with readers.
Mr. Singh campaigned for the PPP during the 2020 election but I would not say he was an asset of major substance. During the elections impasse, he was part of a PPP delegation along with Leonard Gildarie that I interviewed on the Kaieteur Radio. It was natural and logical for the PPP to have Mr. Singh employed.
But I honestly believe then and do now that his experience and qualification have never been in sugar and was not in sugar prior to his appointment. I was surprised at his assignment to the sugar industry. I thought he would have been placed at the Ministry of Finance. The sugar industry is too complicated not to have a person with in depth experience and relevant qualifications.
As I wrote above, it is for the analyst to detect the meaning of Mr. Jagdeo’s expression beneath the surface. From my perspective, I detect an inclination on the part of Mr. Jagedo not to discuss the CEO’s work directly. I would say it was a diplomatic avoidance of Mr. Singh’s performance. But what does not need any analysis is the direct expression of Mr. Jagdeo that GuySuCo’s management needs to be strengthened.
How does one interpret it? One natural meaning is that more personnel will come on board to work with Mr. Singh. These people may have authority that is not below the jurisdiction of Mr. Singh. If, and when this happens, and it should happen, I would like to think it has to be people with some background in the industry. Why is this so?
Because the government’s intention is to resuscitate some estates and if you are going to do that then sugar experience along with the relevant training are of vital importance. One must note the importance of politics in the sugar industry. This part of Guyana is intricately bound with the history of the PPP.
No matter who, in the PPP, is in the presidency that man or woman will not ignore the plight of the sugar workers. If the CEO becomes hegemonic, industrial relations trouble will emerge. I honestly believe Mr. Singh was, and is not the right person for the job. His reassignment to another area suitable to his training is necessary.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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