Home Letters David Granger is seen as untrustworthy, demonstrating poor leadership
Please allow me to respond to the letter of 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.
Mr James spent an inordinate amount of time to state four points:
1. Acquisition of GuySuCo’s assets did not need 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’s 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 would be answered soon enough by the courts in the matter of GBL Inc vs 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 (Companies) Act, is neither a department, unit or owned by NICIL”
I maintain that 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 totalling €25.9 million, of which €20.2 million relate to the sugar support programme, with all conditions associated with disbursement already being met. Climate payments totalling US$250 million under the Guyana/Norway Partnership, of which US$190 million was 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, introducing new taxes, closing ‘loopholes’, all of which increased revenue collection by over $80billion 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 (GoG) 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”.
NICIL is selling GuySuCo’s assets and pocketing the proceeds, which should rightly be re-invested.
The $30 billion bond is backed by a sovereign guarantee; which means that the taxpayers 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. Granger is now using his wife as the face of the pseudo-campaign. Entry into politics comes with intense scrutiny, given that Mrs Granger already compromised the Government and her Office of the First Lady with acceptance of an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore, this may be an ill-advised stratagem in an arena where no sacred cows exist.