It was just announced that a Trini investor is working with NICIL to open up an AC Marriott-branded hotel near the Ogle Airport within the next three years. The first question that popped into your Eyewitness’ mind was “why NICIL?” when their release clearly states that the investor was one of the “Syrians” from Trinidad “who heads a major investment company” there. If the fella will be footing the US$75M bill for the structure, what’s gonna be NICIL’s role.
Enquiring minds want to know! Did NICIL sell or lease of some of the nearby GuySuCo lands from the shuttered Enmore/LBI Sugar Estate? But if that’s so, it ought to be a straightforward transaction that should not have NICIL involved in touting the hotel investment. Or is it that with NICIL having responsibility for the Marriott constructed by the PPP Government, they’re now expanding their hotel business??
And that, of course, brings up the burning question: by boasting about the value that a Marriott-branded hotel will bring to Guyana, will NICIL’s CEO Colvin Heath now be informing the PNC-led caretaker Govt to issue an apology to the PPP in general – and Bharrat Jagdeo in particular – to have had the foresight to bring that world-recognised hotel brand to Guyana?? Just as he was proven to be a prophet about a Low Carbon Development Strategy – which the PNC cogged as “Green State Development” – isn’t he also just as prophetic for the need of top-class hotels in the hospitality/ tourism sector??
What this plan for a new Marriott demonstrates is yet another proof that the PNC’s clueless when it comes to development in the 21st century. Jagdeo had a vision for this country’s development and was confident it would deliver the goods. But that plan involved bringing world-class businesses to Guyana – which means businessmen and women, who run those businesses, would have to come into our “black hole” country!! The days are long gone when businessmen would take Lawrence of Arabia’s lead in opening up frontier economies. They now want to be assured they’ll be in safe and comfortable lodgings while they conduct their business.
And that’s what a “Marriott” does. Jagdeo didn’t know at that time oil would hasten our country’s development trajectory, but he knew the said development was guaranteed. Not because of wishes but because of concrete plans and having persons like Irfaan Ali who could execute projects. In the meantime, we wish NICIL wouldn’t sell out the sugar workers’ patrimony as he’s done and evidently now at LBI/Ogle. Didn’t he get the memo from Granger and Nagamootoo that sugar lands are slotted for sugar works??
Or does he know that’s just a Trini “mamaguy”!!