…from the diaspora
A Guyanese from the diaspora invested (or will be investing in total) US0,000 into a gas station complex at Buxton. Apart from gas, when it’s all done, you’ll be able pick up your fried chicken from a Church’s, basic items from a minimart and receive medical attention and drugs at a pharmacy and medical centre. Now this is more a vote of confidence in Buxton than anything else.
Folks might’ve forgotten it was this same gas station owner – a local-boy-made-good – who was gunned down during the “troubles”, as President Granger insists of calling the depredations of the Buxton-based murderous gang in 2003. The gang was given refuge in one section of the village and your Eyewitness hopes this investment means the local investors – who probably hail from the village – have hard-info that those days won’t repeat themselves soon.
But Prezzie took the opportunity to upbraid those folks from the diaspora who’ve been somewhat critical of he and his Administration for “neglecting” them after his full-court-press wooing of them before the elections. In fact their complaint was they were used like disposable tissue and discarded without even a personal thank you. Seeing them as cash cows, Prezzie said that the diaspora should “put their money where their mouth was” and invest like the Buxtonian gas station owners.
But it’s not so simple is it? The Buxtonian investment is in services…they don’t have to be scared of some Minister pulling the carpet out from under their investment. And this has become the rule now in Guyana. Look at the example that was illustrated on the same day as the announcement of the Buxton Gas Station: Minister of Health Norton INSTRUCTING the head of the Food and Drug Agency to release some imported items the latter had seized.
Can you believe this? The importation of food and drugs are governed by very detailed specific rules because of the threat to life if violated. If the Minister believes the Head of the Agency behaving capriciously – as is charged by the importer – then the Minister can have the case investigated. He can’t just ORDER the order lifted.
We need investors from the diaspora in manufacturing and the creation of value in exports that will bring in foreign funds to expand our economy. They’ll never do so when – as was likely in this case, a Minister will intervene just so pressure on him from a newspaper about some of his other indiscretions may be removed.
Investors from the diaspora expect level playing fields and political non-interference.
Upstart hamburger chain Wendy’s once upstaged behemoth McDonalds by comparing their burgers and asking slyly, “Where’s the beef?” With this ongoing trotting out of Mexico as a market for our rice and as saviour of our beleaguered rice farmers, your Eyewitness asks, “Where’s the rice?”
It all started with PM Nagamootoo. Rice farmers – who’d been part of the 11 per cent that earned him his title – were reeling from the PNC-led coalition’s abandonment of the lucrative Venezuelan rice-for-oil markets. In Mexico on some jaunt, Nagamootoo engaged some Mexican official in a photo op and announced he’d secured MAMMOTH rice markets for our rice and paddy!
Your Eyewitness pointed out even though Mexico did import a million tons of rice, it was mostly locked into the US product by NAFTA. And in any case, with our shipping costs, the prices would be dirt cheap. Well, it’s been one excuse after another. Phytosanitary requirements… quality controls, blah blah blah…
The latest is the PM’s Man from Berbice Harbajan just returned from his Mexican Junket. But no contract.
When will this charade end?
…from staunching corruption
Your Eyewitness wonders why taxes were increased to cover Government expenditures. Didn’t the Government-as-Opposition guarantee money galore just by ending the PPP’s alleged “siphoning off” of funds?
Or is the “siphoning off” still going on?