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Author Topic: Merge: Sugar no longer king/Guysuco idea of trying to show they made a profit in 2009  (Read 47846 times)
BK
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« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2009, 09:55:30 AM »

GUYSUCO still playing the blame game for their incompetencies

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GuySuCo plagued by run-down equipment - Interim Board
By Stabroek staff | November 30, 2009 in Local News

The deplorable state of field and factory assets within the sugar industry has been blamed by the Interim Board as a factor responsible for the current troubles plaguing GuySuCo. The corporation has been unable to expend capital for the past four years, the Board said in a turnaround plan earlier this year, noting that this resulted in very low expenditure for replacement of the assets. The board observed that currently many assets are over their economic lives, and said this is impacting on production and operations.

The Board noted that a concerted effort has to be made to increase the level of capital spending within the industry and improve the state of its assets.  The issues raised in the turnaround plan are that the run-down assets are increasing the length of time taken to complete tasks within the industry, such as longer transport routes due to inaccessible roadways and bridges. It is also blamed for increased fuel and material costs as well as low productivity. Additionally, the plan said the poor state of the assets is impacting on the ability to improve programme targets, and also resulting in the de-motivation of staff.

For the period 2009 to 2011, factory capital for the industry has already increased as per the indicators agreed between the government and the EC delegation to an average of US$9M annually, according to the turnaround plan. Thereafter, factory capital will be as per the factory review concluded in 2007 that assessed the industry’s needs over a 10-year period.

The plan also noted that the MOU signed by GuySuCo with the Government of Guyana on December 31, 2008 agreed to defer US$8M annually on SSMP interest/loan repayments from 2009 to 2011. However, the plan said this increased expenditure is required by the EU to be placed in additional factory capital expenditure. Thus, it observed the deferral involves no significant cash saving for the corporation. According to the Interim Board, the capital programme will require a Project Management team to plan and implement the expenditure programme for both the fields and factories. It pointed out that agriculture capital requirements were determined based on a detailed assessment of the state of agriculture assets and their useful lives. Based on this, it said, high levels of capital are needed from 2009 to 2011.

The Skeldon factory is currently contributing around 14% of the industry’s sugar, according to the plan. It is expected to generate 26% by 2013 but this hinges on cane supply that is currently inadequate.  The plan envisages that the industry will produce some 312,000 tonnes of sugar in 2011 and 410,000 tonnes in 2013. The refinery, which the Interim Board said is now on the back-burner, is not being considered at present because of the reduction in production, among other factors. The Board said the significant reduction in the industry sugar production means that any refined sugar sales will not erode sales in another market.

It said also that the refinery would be a distraction from rehabilitation, noting that managing the construction of a refinery in the same period when concentration would be on rehabilitation is problematic. “The Interim Board considers it wise to concentrate on rehabilitation of the core business before embarking on the construction of a refinery. A refinery will therefore not be included in the forecasts from 2009 to 2013,” the plan explained. It said too that it could be difficult to produce an investor friendly prospectus before the industry shows sign of a turnaround. The refinery appears to be an unprofitable venture based on current economic assumptions, the plan said, and it also called for a review of this project based on an updated feasibility study.
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« Reply #101 on: November 30, 2009, 10:13:41 AM »

It's time the canecuttahs punt!
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BK
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« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2009, 10:27:12 AM »

The canecuttahs pulling the punt and now they can't even ship the sugar out because of the shyte piling up in the Demerara River.

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Siltation snaring sugar shipments
By Stabroek staff | November 29, 2009 in Local News

GuySuCo is unable to boost sugar exports because of the siltation in the Demerara River and the Interim Board has proposed dredging the river. In the turnaround plan for the sugar industry, the Board proposed a September timeline for GuySuCo and its partners-including government-to have the river dredged but there has been no move in this direction as yet.

Referring to the situation in the Demerara River’s main shipping channel as a key impediment to the shipping programme and reducing freight costs, the plan said siltation affects the sizes of vessels that can be loaded at the Demerara Sugar Terminal and also causes delays to sailing. The proposal was therefore made to ensure the shipment of sugar for export in “a cost-effective and efficient manner.” The impact of the initiative would also result in lower freight costs of imports, the plan said.

The plan referenced an incident in 2007 when a vessel lost 12 hours of sailing time after being struck in the channel. According to the Interim Board, a partnership agreement is planned with the six main users of the Demerara channel to have the river dredged and it is expected to cost GuySuCo around $240M.

The plan said if the partnership agreement fails to materialise, the government would then have to fund the project, but noted that it could charge fees for vessels entering the channel. “It will require that GuySuCo be [the] key driver in bringing all the partners together. It is in GuySuCo’s best interests to ensure that this is done as soon as possible since siltation increases marketing costs, affects scheduling and the Corporation’s ability to capitalise on economies of scale from use of bigger vessels,” the plan stated.

The plan also mentioned drainage and irrigation in cultivation, saying that the poor state of drainage is a key problem. It stated that the ability to easily drain water from the fields has contributed to the damage to the crops following heavy rains. Further, it revealed that the corporation has been without a Drainage and Irrigation Engineer since 2005. The recruitment of one was to have been expedited and focus was to be placed on the industry’s drainage and irrigation system.

Additionally, the plan raised the issue of improving skills in the industry and it mentioned upgrading the curriculum of the Port Mourant Training School to cater for advances in technology being introduced at the corporation. It said the strategic direction of agriculture is towards mechanisation, noting that knowledge of the operation of mechanised equipment as well as the ability to maintain and manage the equipment is essential. The plan added that this is being incorporated into the curriculum of the training courses.

It said too that optimising the benefits from the investment in Information Technology strategy will be essential for execution of the blueprint and functioning under the new structure. The plan pointed to the Information Department at the corporation, saying that it would need to be adequately led. The plan suggested that focus be placed on recruiting an IT Director to guarantee delivery of the IT support needed by the industry.

In January this year, the Interim Board was set up and given a mandate by President Bharrat Jagdeo to develop the blueprint for success for the sugar corporation. The Board submitted the plan to the Agriculture Minister in January. The turnaround plan envisages stepped up mechanisation, transforming Enmore estate into an important hub, ending grinding at LBI, an ethanol plant and transferring health and community services to the state. It also included measures to cut cost by disposing of what it termed several underperforming assets.
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« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2009, 10:41:32 AM »

I didn't know Guysuco had that kinda juice!
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« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2009, 03:13:02 PM »

Good lord, now they are blaming the river?   What's next?
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« Reply #105 on: December 04, 2009, 09:11:03 AM »

Guysuco is sugar coating turds. But they still taste like turds ... no matter what they do.

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GuySuCo in cash flow worries -seeking other ways to pay workers this week
By Stabroek staff | December 4, 2009 in Local News

With a sugar vessel delayed and ongoing cash flow problems GuySuCo announced last night that its ability to pay wages for the current week has been “affected”, but said efforts are being made to find alternative arrangements.

The corporation’s statement said it is temporarily experiencing cash flow difficulties which have affected its ability to cover the wage bill. However, GuySuCo said it is “working feverishly to find alternative arrangements; so as to ensure workers are paid for this week at the earliest opportunity”.

It referred to the situation as unavoidable due to external factors, noting that the unions representing workers have been previously informed of the difficulties.

The statement said also of the unions, “we appreciate their understanding at this point in time”.

According to the corporation, the current situation is a reminder of the financial difficulties of GuySuCo which it said has been well ventilated as the industry     continues to focus on the implementation of its turnaround plan.

GuySuCo suffered a $3 billion loss from 2008 with projected cash deficits going forward. Measures in its turnaround plan all target cost-cutting projects coupled with injecting capital. The plan is banking on the sale of lands at Diamond with a potential net gain of $34B to materialize, in addition to the disposal of several other assets to improve the financial position of the industry which is also plagued by declining levels of sugar production.

The corporation has disclosed its losses and even indicated earlier this year that the projected cash deficit at the end of 2009 is expected to be $523M.

The turnaround plan suggests that the future viability of the struggling industry is dependent on accelerated mechanization, and it envisages transforming Enmore estate into an important hub, ending grinding at LBI, an ethanol plant and transferring health and community services to the state.
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« Reply #106 on: December 04, 2009, 11:18:43 AM »

That is how they do math in the PPP. They extrapolate 54% of votes cast to mean 54% of national support. They have dankey cart brains, indulge in dankey cart thinking, and bring every aspect of the country they govern down to a dankey cart standard. Laughing
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« Reply #107 on: December 13, 2009, 06:42:40 AM »

Cash strapped GuySuCo pays CEO $2.5 MILLION monthly

December 13, 2009 | By KNews | Filed Under News

- rent free furnished housing, guards, gardeners, domestic assistance, driver, vehicle, electricity, medical care provided

Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Sugar Corporation, Errol Hanoman, earns a salary of some $2.5 million per month. His contract offered by the sugar company states, “Your annual remuneration while working in Guyana (including salary and pension allowance) will be paid by GuySuCo in Sterling. “Your initial salary (net of income tax and other statutory deductions payable in Guyana) will be at a rate of £74,904 per annum, payable on a monthly basis. Your pension allowance will be paid with salary at the rate of £9,942 per annum.”

The rate of the Central Bank for the Pound Sterling last week was $335 per Pound Sterling. Mr Hanoman’s salary will be review on February 14, 2010. The contract offering him the salary stated hat salaries are reviewed on January 1, 2010. That letter was dated February 19, 2009.

Hanoman acceded to the post of Chief Executive Officer when the GuySuCo Board of Directors ordered a shake up in the face of what they considered inefficiencies and mismanagement. At the time Hanoman was Finance Comptroller in the sugar company. However, his contract was addressed to a British address—84 Medina Gardens, Bicester, Oxon. This suggested that Hanoman was recruited from overseas.

He is entitled to 26 days paid annual leave to his home in London with an additional two travel days. “Any days spent of Guysuco business during leave in the UK will also be additional to the leave allowance.” In addition, Hanoman and his spouse will “each be entitled to the equivalent of one Business Class return air passage between the United Kingdom and Guyana per annum.” “GuySuCo will provide …rent-free furnished accommodation…electricity, water and other utilities up to reasonable limits: together with appropriate domestic assistance and gardener. “Guysuco will also provide free medical care (or appropriate medical insurance) covering consultation, prescribed drugs and hospitalisation for you and your spouse resident in Guyana.”

And while the corporation is paying such salaries, it is complaining about a lack of funds. It contended that it could only pay workers a three per cent increase. A week earlier, the sugar company could not pay weekly wages.
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« Reply #108 on: December 13, 2009, 07:44:46 AM »

Imagine they are getting this kind of money not to transform the industry but to fiddle and sell lands to secure short-term cash flow. There is no thinking about the social big picture. Life eh...
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« Reply #109 on: December 13, 2009, 12:08:00 PM »

This guy is making 15 thousand US a month to head an Industry that is subsidized. His residency is in the UK, so he is paid out of pocket to come to Guyana. If this is not a clear looting of the treasury I am would be grateful to know what is.

 
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« Reply #110 on: December 14, 2009, 06:31:25 AM »

LOL ... bunch of scamps.

But the man is the chief canecuttah. So what else do you expect?
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« Reply #111 on: December 14, 2009, 10:16:30 AM »

and GUYSUCO cant come up with the money to pay the real canecuttahs, they are bitching about the measly 3% increase for the canecuttahs for this year, which don't mean squat when you factor in inflation and the effect on rising cost of living.
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« Reply #112 on: December 16, 2009, 06:05:20 AM »

One engineer costs GuySuCo in excess of $3M monthly
December 16, 2009 | By KNews | Filed Under News



…Corporation also pays for children in boarding/private schools in London, Guyana

An Engineer and expatriate at the Guyana Sugar Corporation is being paid salary and allowances amounting to $2.5M monthly in addition to what could be considered perks, thus taking his monthly earnings beyond $3 million per month.
This newspaper has been reliably informed that the Engineer, Henry Lung-Kit, was retained from the previous management team, Booker Tate.

Outside of his salary, Lung-Kit is also afforded the same privileges of the company’s Chief Executive Officer Errol Hanoman, including furnished house, vehicle, medical expenses, airfare for him and his family. He also receives boarding school fees for a child in London, England and another child in Guyana who attends private school.


Lung-Kit has been employed with GuySuCo close to 10 years now.
This newspaper on Sunday last reported that Hanoman also receives a “super-salary.”
The Alliance For Change had subsequently lashed out at the cash-strapped company’s disparity in the salaries paid to its employees.
The party’s chairman Khemraj Ramjattan said, “This is outrageous in the context of GuySuCo which is in a pathetic financial situation…This disparity as to what the bosses get and what ordinary sugar workers get is most extreme!”
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« Reply #113 on: December 16, 2009, 11:20:59 AM »

Do we have another fictional writer?

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`Never collected a cent from GuySuCo as Chairman’ –Dr Gopaul
By Stabroek staff | December 16, 2009 in Local News

Responding to a call in the Kaieteur News for him to disclose his earnings at GuySuCo, Chairman of the Interim Board Dr Nanda Gopaul said yesterday that his service to the corporation has been without compensation.
 

Dr Nanda Gopaul

Gopaul said in a letter “for those who might be interested” that he has never charged or collected “one cent” from GuySuCo since assuming the role as Chairman. “…I have also not collected any Director fees nor claim for any expenses while travelling the various estates’ location since I have been conscious of the financial situation of the industry and was prepared to make that sacrifice and lead by example”, Gopaul said.

Further, Gopaul noted he had indicated his position to the Finance Director and Chief Executive of the corporation. He said too that he is committed to working on the turn around of the industry to profitability, adding this will happen in due course and not overnight “as many expect”.

Alliance For Change (AFC) Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan had called on sugar workers to demand information regarding what he referred to as the privileges and perks afforded to Board members at GuySuCo. Ramjattan made specific mention of Gopaul in an article which was published in the Kaieteur News on Monday.
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« Reply #114 on: December 16, 2009, 11:34:29 AM »

Now we see why the ordinary sugar workers could not be paid
December 16, 2009 | By knews | Filed Under Letters

Dear Editor,

I am stunned by the super salary being given to the CEO of GuySuCo. Here is a man that was sent packing as Finance Controller because of whatever reasons at the time by the PPP government.
Whatever it was at the time, it certainly was because he was doing something(s) that was not right. Why was he rehired and in a more senior position? Look at the disaster in the sugar industry. One could probably understand a flat sum of US$8,000 a month. But to be paid US$12,500 a month, plus housing, car, driver, guard, maid, gardener and medical expenses? Now we see why the ordinary workers could not be paid.

I understand that there are others who are receiving similar sums packages. Following is an excerpt from Ram and McRae:-

“It is so mind-boggling that one may miss the irony of the Head of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (Dr Coby Frimpong) being the highest paid public employee in the country at a salary of the taxable equivalent of more that $4.5M per month. And his deputy Kevin Hogan, is not too far behind with a taxable equivalent of $3M per month.

“These are the super-Cadillacs while a range of other consultants in the ordinary Cadillac class receive more paltry sums of the taxable equivalent of $600,000 to $1.5M per month. And to ensure that the super-class do not mess with Guyana dollars, their salary is denominated in US dollars. For Dr Frimpong’s salary, we can get approximately 45 heads of schools (Volkswagen) and close to 200 junior teachers (barely bicycle)!


Is the PRSP unwittingly enriching a few at the expense of the rest? And why are the unions not shouting from the rooftops?”

Now the Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud is talking about reviewing the salary of GuySuCo senior management. Didn’t he just sign off on 60 percent increase for the senior management, and now he can’t pay the salary of the workers who actually produce. That is probably because all the money was sucked up paying management. This is sheer incompetence. The reason for this incompetence is that many of those persons in top positions in government, whether political, public service or project heads, is that they are too busy with personal businesses of their own and the public affairs are treated as part time jobs.

When I wrote a similar letter about persons in senior positions conducting private business instead of public two years ago, I saw the President several weeks later announced that senior public officials not performing will be removed. This still remains to be seen. Are these some of the reasons Navin Chandarpaul left? Why did he wait so long? The PPP as a party has to act now to save this country. They made a huge mistake and by continuing to pretend that things will somehow turn out right would be a clear indication that they are incapable of forming another government.

Ganesh Singh
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« Reply #115 on: December 29, 2009, 08:31:31 PM »

‘Finance Ministry disrespected sugar workers’; Retroactive Tax Waiver – Union President
December 28, 2009 | By KNews | Filed Under News
By Fareeza Haniff

President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), Komal Chand, says that the Ministry of Finance has disrespected sugar workers, organisations and the union by not acknowledging receipt of the letter sent to the Ministry by the union requesting a waiver of income tax on a recently awarded three per cent retroactive pay. On Wednesday last, a number of sugar workers protested in front of the Ministry, demanding that their request be fulfilled.

However, according to Chand, the sugar workers were paid on December 24, 2009 without a waiver on the tax, so in essence he said they were only given a two per cent increase. Chand explained to Kaieteur News yesterday that there is not much that the union could do, but to vent their comments and frustrations through the media and by way of protesting. The protest exercises he said have exposed many inadequacies within the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo). He is still adamant that the Finance Ministry should give the sugar workers the tax waiver, as adjustments can still be made to their salaries.

During Wednesday’s protest, the union representatives, carrying placards, accused the Finance Minister of lying to the public when he said that government invested a total of US$113.1 million in the Skeldon sugar factory. One placard stated that the US$113 is a loan, so the government could not have invested that Similarly, a US$12M funding for the establishment of a sugar packaging plant represented monies from the European Union as part of the programme to assist Guyana, following phased sugar price cuts in that region.

GAWU, in the letter on Monday to Dr Singh, requested the Ministry’s “consideration to waive the Income Tax on the retroactive payment of three (3) per cent from January 1, 2009, arising from the Gobind Ganga Arbitral Tribunal recommendation.” GAWU, in arguing the case for the tax waiver, said that similar deserving steps were taken in the past when public servants received a special $4,000 allowance awarded to them last year. The letter, written by GAWU’s General Secretary, Seepaul Narine, was also copied to Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, and GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer, Errol Hanoman.

In October, wage talks between GuySuCo and GAWU broke down after the Corporation refused to budge from a three per cent offer. GAWU had demanded 15 per cent but came down to 10 per cent. Conciliation talks went nowhere and Government stepped in last month and ordered a compulsory arbitration. A three-person Tribunal headed by Bank of Guyana’s Dr. Gobind Ganga earlier this month “recommended” a three per cent increase.
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« Reply #116 on: January 10, 2010, 06:48:15 PM »

This is all Chinese to Roberto Dumbo Persaud. Ah hear that he is now trying to learn the Chinese language - Mandarin dialect.

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Skeldon factory still not receiving sufficient cane – report highlights several operational problems
By Stabroek staff | January 10, 2010 in Local News

Inadequate cane supply continues to plague the new Skeldon factory which is currently operating at around 50 per cent capacity, but a report completed last year found operational issues including various problems with the diffuser.

Another white elephant

Skeldon Sugar Factory

The report by Tate and Lyle Sugars in April 2009, was completed after a visit to the factory, and underlined problems with the diffuser in addition to issues with the bagasse ploughs and to a lesser extent, the punt dumper. The report also mentioned that Chinese contractors at the factory were observed programming in their language. It is unclear how many of the problems cited in the report have been addressed by GuySuCo and whether the recommendations were taken on board and implemented. When contacted, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud told Stabroek News that some of the issues were dealt with prior to the commissioning of the factory in August last year. Persaud said he would check to identify what was addressed and promised to share the findings.

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) had raised the Tate and Lyle report in citing concerns about the industry and it had previously pointed to issues with the twin punt dumper at the factory. According to the union, the punt dumper is not performing satisfactorily and it called on the sugar corporation to correct this problem. Sections of the Tate and Lyle report, which this newspaper has seen, indicated that the punt dumper is unique to Guyana and it suggested the cycle time per punt unloading should not exceed a certain period to achieve thorough put rate.

The report said the diffuser at the factory was designed and installed with no PH correction facility, and it also observed that the diffuser was suffering from frequent flooding.  It suggested that engineers at the factory adjust the recirculation sprays to an angle to achieve percolation within the destination cell, but it noted that the operational management team was not familiar with this procedure.

Further, the report stated that visibility inside the diffuser was poor and suggested installing proper lighting and wash sprays on windows to aid visibility. It said too that there are no observation points on top of the diffuser and indicated that manholes are required to check for channelling, poor juice percolation and non-uniform juice distribution which cause flooding.

Tate and Lyle said also that bagasse ploughs for boiler feed chutes are adjusted manually at the Skeldon factory and observed “ploughs were not designed to adjust automatically”. The report said persons are stationed at the chutes to adjust ploughs and clear blockages with ‘ram sticks’. It continued that plough automation was critical for optimum and efficient boiler operations. The factory has no syrup clarifier according to the report. It also pointed out that mills are running too fast and the mill setting needs to be rechecked. “There are no torque alarms at the mills, this is an equipment safety feature,” the report added.

On the issue of programming, the report said GuySuCo’s DCS engineer should be working closely with the contractors to be acquainted with the programmes and adjustments that are made because the Chinese contractors were observed programming in Chinese not English. It added that staff training on equipment operation (especially diffuser and continuous vacuum pans) is essential in efficient operation.

The Skeldon factory was a turnkey project between government and the China National Technology Import and the Export Corporation (CNTIC), which was to be handed over in October 2008, one in a string of missed deadlines. The administration was said to have filed for liquidated damages, but information has not been forthcoming on this despite many enquiries. Additionally, the new factory was beset by mechanical problems during the initial operating period.
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« Reply #117 on: January 13, 2010, 09:54:31 AM »

When will Drugdeo tell these canecattahs the truth? I suppose he must feel that they can't handle the truth and some might issue threats like the rice farmer did!  I suppose he is telling Roberto Dumbo Persaud and the rest of the canecuttahs at GUYSUCO and GAWU that they also don't know what they are saying either!

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Jagdeo tells Berbicians he remains optimistic about sugarBy Stabroek staff | January 13, 2010 in Local News By Shabna Ullah

President Bharrat Jagdeo told residents in Region Six yesterday during his cabinet outreach that he is optimistic about the future of sugar in Guyana despite persons saying otherwise. The president who met with residents in various areas in the region, including Crabwood Creek, Black Bush Polder and Port Mourant said government has had to make tough decisions for the industry to survive. He was referring to the US$110M investment in the Skeldon factory as well as the land preparation.

He also said that another contract was signed for $2.4B for a packaging plant at Enmore while a significant amount of land was bought from Guysuco because the company needs $10B to survive. According to him the sugar industry has suffered the lowest production for a very long time along with the European Union 36% price cut for sugar which resulted in a loss of over US$40M every year.
He said too that if the industry wanted to make 350,000 tonnes of sugar to “make money” then government would have to make that investment and Guysuco would get $5.4B from the government.

At Port Mourant, he mentioned that a few weeks ago when a wages issue was raised, Member of Parliament, Khemraj Ramjattan and other persons asked the government to put more money into the sugar industry. However, he said that Ramjattan and Leader of the main opposition, Robert Corbin walked out of parliament because they did not agree to the $4B that was transferred to the sugar industry. The $4B in question at Monday’s sitting of Parliament related to the Housing Ministry. It would appear that this sum is for the purchase of land from GuySuCo.

He also asked residents to check the front page photo of yesterday’s edition of Kaieteur News which showed them walking out of Parliament “although Kaieteur News is a rag and is hostile to the government but it exposes their [Ramjattan and Corbin’s] anti-government bias.”

Noting that there would be tough times ahead, he said Guyana would not close the industry as happened in Trinidad and Barbados. He said the Booker Tate management team was sent away and the country has its own management which is expected to administer creditably to ensure that there is value for money. He said the workers also have a role to play and although there may be a few bad years ahead he is trying to secure the industry. The president told the residents that he plans to return soon to speak to the workers of all the estates about the reality of the industry.

Residents raised the issue of the police shooting to death of a youth, Hemchand Gopaul at the Rose Hall cemetery following a robbery on the Corentyne and about searches for drugs conducted on homes. Commander of ‘B’ Division, Stephen Merai said police at Eve Leary are currently handling the matter and that the file would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice on how to proceed. The president also warned the residents that the police would carry out raids on persons who sell drugs and destroy the communities.

Meanwhile, residents asked for the public assistance recipients to cash their vouchers at the bank instead of lining up at the post offices and the president said it was a valid point and promised to look at that option. The head of the Road Users’ Association in Berbice complained about police harassment on the roadways and said several vehicles were impounded on Friday afternoon and released the following evening. The man said he was told that the buses were held up for “tint” and said the vehicles should be allowed to have six inches of tint that is used as protection from the sun.

Jagdeo said he would look at the tint situation to see if the policy can be changed but “we are not compromising drinking and driving, speeding on the road.” Further, he said that he knows that the police have a campaign to reduce road fatality. He noted that Berbice has the highest road deaths in the country and said drivers have to comply with the law. He said drivers have been issued with speeding tickets but that does not seem to act as a deterrent and they continue to speed as soon as they pass the police. He said that speeding and “with animals on the road it is worse in Berbice.”

The residents also complained that the area was supposed to be enjoying treated water but said it was discoloured. One man even showed the president a bottle of water from the taps as evidence and the president responded that treated water does not mean that the iron content [which causes the discolouration] would be removed.

They also told the president that when they visit the Port Mourant Hospital there is a “big padlock at the gate” and when the guard opens the gate the lone nurse there would give them a “paper” to go to the New Amsterdam Hospital. The president promised the residents that he would speak to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Chief Executive Officer of the New Amsterdam Hospital, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo on that matter.
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« Reply #118 on: February 04, 2010, 11:18:40 AM »

GuySuCo sacks senior officials
February 4, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News
By Leonard Gildarie

Two senior officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) have been sent packing as the corporation tightens its operation following a disastrous production performance last year. Kaieteur News understands that Director of Agriculture Research, Dr. Harold Davis, was sent off late last week by the Board of Directors.

Also gone is Henry Lung-Kit, an engineer formerly under contract with previous management of GuySuCo, Booker Tate.  Lung-Kit was one of the subjects of media reports in December for receiving an “exorbitant” remuneration package in excess of $2M per month. GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer, Errol Hanoman, has also been in the spotlight in December.

A senior GuySuCo official confirmed yesterday that the corporation has told the engineer that they were not renewing his contract which was up. According to the official, the corporation is tightening its belt in an effort to cut costs as part of its turnaround plan to make the sugar industry more viable. More sackings may come, this newspaper was told.

Regarding Dr. Davis, Kaieteur News was also told that the Director was sent home for among other things, the deploying of equipment, including tractors. It was explained that GuySuCo was under pressure to complete tillage work in some fields. However, the tractors, under the custody of the research department, were not sent out to work and this may have contributed to his sacking. GuySuCo’s management is currently meeting with sugar workers across the country in an effort to “educate” them about the move to revive the industry which within the last few years has been hit by a staggering 36 per cent price cut from the European Union, the corporation’s largest customer.
With poor production and a new state-of-the-art factory at Skeldon, an under pressure GuySuCo’s management is hoping to encourage workers also to minimize the number of strikes which plagued the industry last year. GuySuCo says that it is also facing a dismal workers’ turnout as canecutters move to other jobs in between crops.

In December, Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, had assured that the “super salaries” paid to some GuySuCo’s officials will be reviewed. The Minister had noted that the Corporation is currently in a transition phase from the previous Booker Tate management and as such he has ordered the review of remunerations and cuts where there are excesses. Persaud had stressed that the situation must be taken in the context of what was inherited.

Ever since 1998, the government was paying Booker Tate some $500 million per annum. There has been a blueprint which is being implemented. Last year the money paid for management fees, some $170 million, was a drastic reduction. Persaud said that this was one of the reasons for sacking Booker Tate. In addition, the British team was not performing to its contractual obligations. It was recognized that since in the early 90’s many believed that the Booker Tate price-tag was very high.
Persaud added that it was he who lobbied Cabinet to relinquish ties with Booker Tate but stressed that the company was still in a transition phase building a Guyanese management team. “That is why we still have personnel being used that are getting packages that were inherited.”
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« Reply #119 on: February 04, 2010, 11:23:01 AM »

Lung-Kit was making some nice cake for living in Guyana. US$120K+ a year.

The issue is not his fat salary, but ... did he truly earn it. Was he worth US$10K/month?
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« Reply #120 on: February 04, 2010, 11:24:41 AM »

Is Dr Harold Davis the son of Harold Davis who was head of Guysuco for many years?
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« Reply #121 on: February 05, 2010, 02:25:32 PM »

How come they are now claiming a loss when earlier they were claiming that they would register huge profits in 2009

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GuySuCo braces for another year of losses…CEO predicts return to profitability by end of 2012
February 5, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) operated at a loss in 2009, but significantly less than the previous year, and is staring at another year of losses. In fact, the company is not expected to return to profitability until the end of 2012. This is according to Chief Executive Officer of the cash-strapped entity, Errol Hanoman, who along with its chairman Nanda Gopaul, Minister Robert Persaud and a high level team, appeared before the Economic Services Committee.

The team appeared before the parliamentary committee, where it was grilled on a range of issues relating to the company including the production level of cane, the Skeldon sugar factory, production costs and labour relations among others. Hanoman also told the committee that the relative inexperience of the management team at the new Skeldon Sugar factory is a source of concern, but the company was addressing the issue of training for its staff. He said too that GuySuCo was seeking additional skills to complement the team.

In face of the questions relating to an investigation at the factory with respect to defects, Minister Persaud said that there is ongoing evaluation at the facility. The defects liability period comes to an end in March and it was pointed out that in excess of 100 defects were found at the new Skeldon Sugar factory, with only about 10 being critical. Subject Minister Robert Persaud did assure the committee that the Chinese Contractors will stay on to ensure that all of the defects are remedied.

Hanoman supported this notion, telling the Committee that the Chinese have expressed confidence in remedying the identified defects, and added that by August this year all should be addressed.
On the issue of labour, Persaud emphasized that despite the push for mechanization, no person will be laid off, and there will be a redeployment of the human resources. With closure of the Diamond and La Bonne Intention estates being imminent, Persaud said that the workers will be utilized on East Coast Demerara.

In relation to the projected downward projection of employees, Persaud stated that it must be appreciated that there is competition for labour, simply because there are a lot more opportunities available for persons to seek employment. “We have to take into account the reduced availability of labour,” said Persaud. He did seek to emphasise that with the downtime in the opportunity work days, mechanization is even more important, given that there is a lot more that needs to be done, in less time.

It was pointed out that the objective of the company is to increase production to 400,000 tonnes of sugar by 2013. This is expected to be done through acceleration of mechanisation with a drive to 41 per cent of the cultivation being full mechanised by 2014 and 56 per cent of the cultivation semi-mechanized. There is also a drive to push for the improvement of cane yields and production through a major land rehabilitation programme; focus on rehabilitation of field and factory assets through a capital expenditure programme and optimising production of Skeldon’s factory to achieve steady state production of 110,000 tonnes by 2013.
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« Reply #122 on: February 05, 2010, 02:31:10 PM »

Wonder what management cost Roberto Dumbo Persaud talking since they have been paying all the CEOs hefty salaries and other perks, while the sugar industry is being run to the ground. I wonder who Persaud is trying to fool with regards to mechanization and retrenchment of canecuttahs.

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Sugar costs cut by $2B - Persaud tells Parliament committeeBy Stabroek staff | February 5, 2010 in Local News

Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud has credited GuySuCo’s turnaround plan with significantly cutting costs last year to the tune of some $2 billion, including a sizeable chunk in management costs. Persaud, according to the Government Information Agency, said some $300 million in management costs were cut and he called that “positive results” from the turnaround plan. He indicated that GuySuCo had undertaken a cost reduction exercise in keeping with the industry’s blueprint for success.

Addressing a meeting of the Economic Services Committee of Parliament yesterday, Persaud also mentioned that the cost of cultivating a hectare of land has dropped to $490,000 from $650,000. This was a major objective of the turnaround plan. He reported that GuySuCo has set a production target this year of 280,000 tonnes of sugar and spoke of the initiatives being tackled to ramp up poor cane supply. Persaud also touched on the pace at which private cane farmers are moving saying that they surpassed the production level established by more than 50% last year. The Guyana Agricultural and General Worker’s Union (GAWU) had cited the success of private cane farmers some two months ago when it criticized the pace at which GuySuCo was moving.

According to GINA, Persaud said also that several new persons and farming cooperatives have shown interest in continuing to expand private sugar cane cultivation, both in Demerara and Berbice. The minister also referred to government’s financial boost to the cash-strapped industry stating that the Ministry of Housing and Water had injected some $4 billion for 2,000 acres of land for housing development on the East Bank Demerara. An additional $1.4 billion also went to the industry and according to Persaud, this represents interest payments on outstanding loans to the administration that were waived.

PNCR-1G Member of Parliament Winston Murray questioned whether sugar workers stand to lose jobs in the field as GuySuCo moves ahead with its mechanization programme and Persaud insisted that the government has no plans to retrench anyone. Murray pointed to the turnaround plan, which shows that employment would drop annually up to 2014 saying it correlated with the increased use of mechanization by GuySuCo which would see 41 percent of cultivated land harvested and loaded mechanically. Persaud insisted that there was no correlation and cited other factors which would result in the decline of the work force.

GuySuCo’s turnaround plan was handed over last year by the Interim Board and it envisages stepped up mechanization, transforming the Enmore estate into an important hub, ending grinding at LBI, an ethanol plant and transferring health and community services to the state.
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« Reply #123 on: February 05, 2010, 02:55:29 PM »

Girl they have Bonne Intentions. Laughing

Give them 2 years to start making a profit. By then Jags will be gone and it will become someone else's problem.

I could never understand how in 2010 you could depend on rice and sugar. No wonder people turning to drugs.
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« Reply #124 on: February 05, 2010, 03:25:01 PM »

yes you right about that. but I wonder how they intend to realize the following. and they finally are admitting their plans to close down operations of the Demerara estates when all the while they have been lying to the people that they will not close down ANY of the estates. Diamond was the first and now LBI is the next in line, so Wales and Enmore are in deep shyte.

**************

GuySuCo’s turnaround plan was handed over last year by the Interim Board and it envisages stepped up mechanization, transforming the Enmore estate into an important hub, ending grinding at LBI, an ethanol plant and transferring health and community services to the state.
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« Reply #125 on: March 24, 2010, 11:54:25 AM »

Where is Roberto Dumbo Persaud now, since he claimed last month that GUYSUCO is  not in the red, and in turn a lowly canecuttahs it being made the fall guy, while friends of Fagdeo sitting on the Board have been drawing millions in salary and perks and doing their own thing.

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GuySuCo mismanagement costs millions -GAWU
By Stabroek staff | March 24, 2010 in Local News

The Guyana  Agricultural  and General Workers Union (GAWU) has charged that GuySuCo’s practices have been responsible for millions of losses annually, in wake of the recent allegations surfacing after the dismissal of materials manager Asroodeen Shaw.

In a statement, GAWU said the situation confirmed “the union’s longstanding positions and exhortations that the corporation’s practices were responsible for too many millions in losses annually.” According to GAWU, this comes “against the background of dubious management decisions such as outsourcing of certain services to certain contractors; reports of visible, blatant idling of vital GuySuCo-owned machines; financial billion-dollar losses and fiascoes of Booker-Tate contractors and the Skeldon bungling; not to mention the astonishingly low three percent  across-the-board wage increase by an Arbitration Tribunal towards the end of 2009.”

GAWU said that while this is no time for blowing its own trumpet, it had argued before the arbitration tribunal against GuySuCo’s mismanagement, quoting from two independent reports by an Uitvlugt Review Committee and a  Commission of Enquiry at the East Demerara Estates. “The malpractices discovered and revealed at these two locations provided insights of disturbing managerial shortcomings across the industry,” GAWU stated. In that light, the union concluded that the latest Procurement/Materials Management charges “are merely indicative of a wider GUYSUCO managerial malaise.” GAWU reiterated that GuySuCo, which is so pivotal to the country’s economy, has been  guilty “of too many areas of consistent mismanagement and needless extravagance, now seemingly the product of corrupt managerial practices and procedures.”

GAWU, however, said that it welcomed GuySuCo Chairman Dr Nanda Gopaul’s assurances of audits on the corporation’s procurement and accounting system and an  examination of whether there has been neglect on the part of senior management. Moreover, GAWU called on GuySuCo to listen and pay heed “to the union’s industrial intelligence and others much more often if this vital sector is to become sustainable once again.”

Shaw said he was fired by the company last week Monday because he had been victimised after he  had produced a damning report that exposed weaknesses that were costing the corporation millions of dollars.  But according to the corporation, he was fired for allegedly breaching the corporation’s procurement and procedural policy in the purchasing of electrodes, failing to procure electrodes on time, which resulted in a halt in the operations of a section of the estate.
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« Reply #126 on: March 30, 2010, 03:00:59 PM »

“Knight” of long, creeping secrets
March 30, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
 
A gentleman came up to me last year in the supermarket and said, “Freddie, you don’t understand that thing with Nirmal Rekha; you keep writing about it but you don’t understand it.” His explanation, I must confess, was never captured in my columns. For those who are not familiar with this episode of PPP politics, let’s recap it briefly. The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) did an investigation of bogus duty free letters signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance that goes under the title, Secretary to the Treasury. The GRA found that the PS, Mr. Nirmal Rekha, signed more than 50 false duty free concession documents. The Ministry of Finance and Mr. Rekha did not prove the GRA’s investigation of his signature was wrong. The record still stands that Mr. Rekha put his signature to OVER 50 bogus letters.

My column, this newspaper, the Stabroek News and many others since 2004 commented on the fact that Mr. Rekha was not disciplined. From time to time since 2004, I would occasionally touch on the Rekha debacle. The angle used was this was protection by the PPP of one of its own.The supermarket encounter enlightened me to the fact that maybe Rekha was not protected because he is a friend of the power-wielders but maybe those false duty free letters may contain names that Freedom House would not like the nation to know about. So why sacrifice Mr. Rekha. Suppose he behaves like Lambert Marks?

Again, some explanation is needed here for those who don’t know who Lambert Marks was. He was the head of CANU then Trade Administrator of the GRA. In a spat with the Government, Mr. Marks threatened to reveal long, creeping secrets. He made his feeling known publicly by speaking to the press.

We come now to CLICO and President Jagdeo’s remark that Ms. Singh-Knight, CEO of CLICO Guyana, is retained on the Board of Guysuco even though it was under her watch that CLICO was ruined, because she has important skills. Mr. Jagdeo went on to explain that corruption was not a charge against Ms. Singh-Knight. He intoned that her guilt may have been in the area of bad judgment.  He further stated that there are cases of bad investments in times of financial crisis.

Anyone familiar with management principles would know that this is unadulterated nonsense that Mr. Jagdeo has uttered. No harsh word would suffice to describe that observation of Mr. Jagdeo. The opposition should demand his resignation. I keep writing that Mr. Jagdeo is extremely mediocre in his captaincy of the Guyanese ship. Companies remove their CEOs all the time all over the world for bad judgment when such action hurts the company. This is standard policy in all departments of human behaviour.

If a coach orders a certain strategic formation in football during the World Cup and a loss is the result, he loses his employment. If a director spends a stupendous sum on a movie that results in a loss, the studio parts company with him. When a Foreign Minister makes bad judgment and a nation loses a whopping market, he/she is asked to resign. How can the President of a country make such a foolish statement? In times of financial crises, a CEO has to rise above the occasion. What Mr. Jagdeo is actually saying is that when times are rough you expect business leaders to falter and that is understandable. I’m afraid in business and politics, this is not the norm. The word of investment is a trillion dollar game. You play your cards wrong your company can go under.

That is why the outcome of bad judgment is peremptory removal. It is the same with politics. You misjudge a situation and you lose the elections. Mr. Jagdeo can say these things because he knows ethnic voting guarantees permanent power to mediocre leaders in Guyana. It is a pity the press didn’t remind Mr. Jagdeo that Joseph O’Lall had important skills as an engineer. Yet he was fired by Mr. Jagdeo. But there is a big BUT here. But Ms. Singh-Knight may be the recipient of a stable of secrets.

Remember what the gentleman in the supermarket told me about the missing angle in the Rehka case? Remember how Marks said he would spill his guts to the public. Of course Mr. Jagdeo doesn’t want an inquiry into CLICO’s collapse. There are many, many things that Mr. Jagdeo doesn’t want to touch at all. In international relations, there is the concept of falling dominoes. You know what I mean.
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« Reply #127 on: March 30, 2010, 03:14:31 PM »

She gets rewarded for the financial collapse of CLICO, just like Merai.

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Jagdeo’s defense of Geeta Singh-Knight “high class lawlessness” - Trotman
March 30, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News
 
Alliance for Change Leader, Raphael Trotman, who has previously been critical of having Geeta Singh-Knight sit on the Board of Directors of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), is now lashing out at the President for the way he has defended her position there.


Geeta Singh-Knight

Head of State, Bharrat Jagdeo, recently told media operatives that it was a spate of bad decisions that led to the collapse of  insurance giant Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana but its then CEO Singh-Knight still has, “significant skills, frankly speaking.” Trotman is of the opinion that this position adopted by Jagdeo wreaks of “high class lawlessness to defend a bad decision when thousands lost everything.”

The AFC leader said that his party is disappointed that after being allowed to preside over the collapse of CLICO, “the loss of hundreds of millions of pension funds and other medical and insurance benefits based on so-called bad investments, that President Jagdeo who boasts of being a good mathematician, would persevere with someone like Singh-Knights at GUYSUCO and not see the value of a Dr Harold Davis at GuySuCo.” In January this year, two senior officials of the Corporation GuySuCo were sent packing following a disastrous production performance last year and amidst clamours that there were excesses in the corporation. Director of GuySuCo’s Agriculture Research, Dr. Harold Davis, was one of the officials sent off by the Board of Directors.

According to Trotman, the decisions and calculations by the President, “are just not adding up…He is practising jumbie economics.” Trotman said that while Singh-Knights may have her qualities, in any other country in the world she would have felt compelled to take a self-imposed sabbatical from the corporate world. “Look at how GuySuCo is collapsing nationally….First it was CLICO (Guyana), now sugar is in crisis after spending almost US$300M on the Skeldon Sugar factory and neglecting the workers.”

He suggested that “any school child who can add two and two can tell you that hundreds of millions are being lost through theft, corruption and waste because of the bad decisions being made by the President.” Trotman reiterated, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time…The President has every reason to be afraid of the AFC winning power because we will deal with the corruption condignly from top to bottom.”

President Bharrat Jagdeo who held a press briefing on Friday prior to departing for London, stated that the fact was that several bad investments were made by CLICO Guyana and was asked whether he thought it was a good idea to have her sit on the GuySuCo Board and he said that she has, “significant skills, frankly speaking.” Jagdeo had just finished telling the media operatives at a press briefing that several bad investments were made by CLICO Guyana. He told media operatives that at CLICO Guyana all of the money spent can be tracked adding that, “It’s not like it disappeared or was siphoned…the problem is it was the judgment, it might be bad judgment.”

The President said, “Clearly we can establish that they had inter-company links established across the Caribbean… they had interlocking directorate and they were excessively leveraged.” The President said that monies were sent from Guyana to CLICO Bahamas, to the Turks and Caicos, to Suriname and to several other CLICO ventures “because of interlocking directorate and because of incestuous transactions…those are clear to us.” As it relates to CLICO Guyana’s investments overseas, the President reiterated that, if one should talk about that, a lot of our people made bad judgments…They were lured by high interest rates….This happen in a financial crisis…Look at how much money is lost around the world.”

Jagdeo stressed that if it were a matter of corruption then it would have been a totally different scenario “but we have found no evidence of corruption.” A lot of people made bad judgments in the period and a lot of people lost their money, some with Stanford. Singh-Knight was placed on an interim management board of GuySuCo to assist in drafting a ‘turn-around plan’ for the industry. It was later found that while she was at the helm of CLICO Guyana, the company breached the Insurance Act by investing more than it should have overseas and the company was well below its liquidity rate.

A senior official close to GuySuCo source has since advised Singh Knight is on the Board in a voluntary position and receives no salary and is bound by no contractual obligations.
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« Reply #128 on: March 30, 2010, 03:40:36 PM »

Quote
The President has every reason to be afraid of the AFC winning power because we will deal with the corruption condignly from top to bottom.

This is encouraging and exactly what is needed to change the culture of corruption. Only two weeks ago there was the story of the former central american country president, (I think its Costa Rica,) who was extradited to the USA for corruption charges in his own country!!!
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« Reply #129 on: March 30, 2010, 03:45:09 PM »

Quote
The President has every reason to be afraid of the AFC winning power because we will deal with the corruption condignly from top to bottom.

This is encouraging and exactly what is needed to change the culture of corruption. Only two weeks ago there was the story of the former central american country president, (I think its Costa Rica,) who was extradited to the USA for corruption charges in his own country!!!

The country was in fact Guatemala!

Guatemala to extradite ex-leader Alfonso Portillo to US

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8573766.stm

A criminal court in Guatemala has agreed to extradite former President Alfonso Portillo to the US where he faces money-laundering charges.

He was arrested in January following US charges that he had laundered money stolen from a children's charity and embezzled state funds.

He has since been held in a high-security prison in Guatemala City.

Mr Portillo, 58, has repeatedly denied the charges levelled against him, which he says are political.

He fled to Mexico after his term finished in 2004 but was sent back in 2008 to face corruption charges.

The former president "embezzled tens of million of dollars worth of public funds, a portion of which he then laundered through bank accounts in the US and Europe", a New York grand jury indictment said in February.

He has also been accused by Guatemalan authorities over the disappearance of $15m (£9.2m) earmarked for the Guatemalan defence department.
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« Reply #130 on: March 31, 2010, 06:46:07 AM »

Under the PPP .... no PPP supporter is ever disciplined. It's a shady, corrupt lil mom and pop organization. But that's all Guyanese know.
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« Reply #131 on: March 31, 2010, 08:58:26 AM »

Under the PPP .... no PPP supporter is ever disciplined. It's a shady, corrupt lil mom and pop organization. But that's all Guyanese know.
Well if you all know of a better administration, feel free to write the government and convey your opinions, it should have been Venezuela where to government enforce his legislation and terminate this site for opposing the government decisions...you lucky is Guyana you all can bombard with you all criticisms
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« Reply #132 on: March 31, 2010, 09:45:06 AM »

Well if you all know of a better administration, feel free to write the government and convey your opinions, it should have been Venezuela where to government enforce his legislation and terminate this site for opposing the government decisions...you lucky is Guyana you all can bombard with you all criticisms

Go tell Fagdeo to try and terminate this site. Fagdeo is no better than Venezuela since you are making that comparison - the same thing he did when he shut down the livinguyana blogsite, after which GINA clowns went and created one with a similar name writing utter garbage.
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« Reply #133 on: March 31, 2010, 09:53:55 AM »

The letter writer should have addressed this to both Drugdeo and Roberto Dumbo Persaud

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An Open Letter to the Minister of Agriculture
March 31, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under Letters

Dear Editor,

Your newspaper has been a source of inspiration for me. As a Guyanese who lives and works here I have seen the many injustices that have been perpetuated and the impossibility of having recourse. I work in the Agriculture sector; two of my brothers in law work with Guysuco and I lived, up to last week, in Montrose, East Coast Demerara. Through this medium I wish to publicly ask my Minister a few questions.

Dear Sir,

When you first took over the Ministry of Agriculture I had an open mind on your capacity to make things happen in that Ministry. I have watched and observed you at work and I am now having a different perception of you ability to lead that Ministry. That being, I would like to raise a few questions with you on the Ministry you manage. As our Minister of Agriculture and a public figure and a presidential hopeful I would appreciate your honesty in your answers.

1. El Nino- The press quoted you that you were aware of the El Nino effect in April 2009. What did you do with that information and why is it that the Land of Many Water is now having serious shortages? When things at this level go wrong sir as we have seen with sugar in particular you are boasting to the media that you have fired so many, why is it you should not be fired?

2. GuySuCo – Is it true that the Board of Directors had nothing to do with the hiring of Errol Hanoman as Chief Executive of Guysuco? Was this decision made by His Excellency and yourself?

3. Guysuco – One year has been completed since the turn around plan was put in place. Can you say what the achievements against the projection in 2009 were? Was it really management the problem or Government involvlment?

4. Guysuco – What business experience and credibility do the current chairman Dr Nanda Gopaul and Ms Geeta Singh-Knight bring to Guysuco?

5. Guysuco – Why is it we are paying a Chief Executive $2.5 Million per month and still having Dr Gopaul conducting meetings every Monday with the Chief Executive and Directors? Is the current Chief Executive not trusted or is he no good? What is the CE’s role? If he was not part of the firing of Dr Harold Davis, then who ordered it and for what reason?

6. Drainage –Who was given the land on the Montrose Reserve to set up a housing complex that is near completion? Why is the Ministry silent despite intolerance by National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) for impediment of drainage in the Country? What is your view on this?

7. Drainage – There are some officials who work with the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) and has acquired enormous assets and some at NDIA, did you ever had suspicion of the source of their wealth? Can you say if the GRA was asked to conduct an investigation as Minister Kellawan Lall is requesting be done with some of the contractors to his Ministry? Minister — Is it true that you have changed as many vehicles as the number of years you are Minister of Agriculture, at the Government expense? How many Government vehicles are at your disposal?

9.    Minister — Is it true that your two children were born in the USA?

10.    Minister — Did you at any time, sir, through your influence prevent anyone form being given a job in this country? As a role model to persons like myself I hope that you can set the records straight. I have to vote in 2011. This will help me and many others to make up our minds.

Rohit Parmanand
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« Reply #134 on: March 31, 2010, 09:56:15 AM »

Under the PPP .... no PPP supporter is ever disciplined. It's a shady, corrupt lil mom and pop organization. But that's all Guyanese know.
Well if you all know of a better administration, feel free to write the government and convey your opinions, it should have been Venezuela where to government enforce his legislation and terminate this site for opposing the government decisions...you lucky is Guyana you all can bombard with you all criticisms
Yes I know of a better administration that's why I choose to live where I do.
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« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2010, 10:03:42 AM »

Somebody please send Rohit Parmanand a copy of the Atlantic Symphony's rendition of 'Oh Beautiful Guyana'.  He will need to be soothed by the sweet sounds of the steelpan when he is reading the answers.
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« Reply #136 on: March 31, 2010, 10:28:48 AM »

Why is it that Drugdeo loves to stick his foot in his mouth all the time? Some timely reminders by Emile of what the CLICO fiasco was about a year ago and now Drugdeo's attempts to cover up obvious fraud - violation of the insurance act. All of those behind the ponzo should be charged, starting with Drugdeo.

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President Jagdeo’s refusal of a Clico probe reeks of a cover-up
By Stabroek staff | March 31, 2010 in Letters

Dear Editor,

Your news article, “Probe into Clico would serve no purpose – Jagdeo,” (March 28), contains attributions to the President that are the equivalent of adding insult to injury and pouring salt into open wounds. For example, when he reportedly said that “an investigation would only disclose what has already been established through an audit of the company,” he seems to be inferring that the final report of whatever audit was done has been available to the public and the board of directors. But to the best of my knowledge, this did not happen. And when he said that “we have found no evidence of corruption,” he seemed to be speaking on behalf of his government, whereas Clico (Gy) was a private company and should have been subjected to a public investigation.

Even if folks want to believe him when he speaks on this issue, they are reminded that this is the same President who assured depositors in January 2009 that their money was safe and Clico (Gy) was on sound footing, only to watch Clico (Gy) collapse a few days later. So for him to now say there was no evidence of corruption, only ‘bad judgment’ and ‘bad investments’, and then use ‘bad judgment’ and ‘bad investments’ as an excuse for failing to mount a public investigation into Clico (Gy) further undermines his credibility since the excuse gives the appearance of an attempt to cover up the exact nature of the ‘bad judgment’ and ‘bad investments’. A truly caring, transparent, responsible and accountable government would have long pushed for an investigation to satisfy public concerns.

A careful review of the Clico (Gy) collapse will show that this was not merely an issue of management making a ‘bad judgment’ and making ‘bad investments’, as the President surmised; this actually was premeditated jiggery-pokery with depositors’ monies, followed by a perversion of justice, because evidence shows the government knew Clico (Gy) was in violation of the Insurance Act, yet did nothing in accordance with the punitive measures of the Insurance Act to stop the practice, and after the company collapsed, government worked stealthily to have Parliament pass legislation placing it under Bank of Guyana supervision. This latter move locked the door on depositors wanting to know what happened to their money via a public investigation, but in democracies that uphold the rule of law this act is considered tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, because the law was not upheld.

A review of the records actually reveals that then Insurance Commissioner, Ms. Maria van Beek, repeatedly informed Clico (Gy) of its violation of the Insurance Act, but she either failed to take or was prevented from taking punitive action, in accordance with the Insurance Act, against the company and or its CEO. And it was Mr. Christopher Ram who actually made public the two specific sections of the Insurance Act relative to the Clico (Gy) violation. 1) No insurance company shall invest more than 15% of its clients’ deposits overseas, failing which fines will be immediately instituted against the company and then for every day the violation persists, and 2) The head of the insurance company in violation of the Insurance Act, regarding the 15% overseas investment, shall also be immediately subjected to prosecution and fines and or imprisonment. At the time of collapse, Clico (Gy) had over 53% invested overseas, no fines were levied, and it has been rather telling that the President hardly, if ever, addresses the legal aspects of this entire saga, yet his government rushed to take over Clico (Gy).

Nothing is wrong with a government taking over a major private entity caught in a financial crisis, but there should not be even an appearance of an attempt to cover-up the root causes of the crisis by simply saying ‘bad judgment’ or ‘bad investments’ without a public probe. In the United States, the feds took over institutions/companies to save them in the midst of the financial meltdown, not to cover up their misdeeds and mismanagement. Anyone in America, using the FOI law, can access those now public records. Leaders of banks and investment houses that held deposits and investments from private persons were called in to the US Congress to publicly explain what went wrong in their companies that contributed to the collapse of the financial system and the onset of the recession. They had to testify under oath, and even though the dust is still settling, these institutions are still liable to future investigations if the feds come across new information that raises red flags. But at least there were public hearings in the US; what we had in Guyana was a basic party line decision by the government’s parliamentary majority to rubber stamp whatever decision the government took vis a vis Clico (Gy) without any public investigation. An audit is not the same as an investigation.

But besides government’s knowledge of and failure to act to stop Clico (GY), another reason why a public investigation is needed was the sudden rush by the New Building Society to purchase Berbice Bridge bonds held by Clico (Gy) for local bond holders, shortly before Clico (Gy) collapsed. In the United States, that would have been almost equivalent to insider trading at Clico (Gy) and the repercussions for such behaviour would have been dire for all involved.

That the President would then go out of his way to defend Ms. Geeta Singh-Knight as a person with ‘special skills’, even though she oversaw the collapse of Clico (Gy) and sat on the GuySuCo board as the company registered severe financial losses, reflects a great deal on the paucity of his leadership acuity.  As Chairman of the Berbice Bridge Project and former CEO of Clico (Gy), Ms. Singh-Knight should still be placed under the glare of investigators’ intense spotlight to answer under oath what she knew about the circumstances leading up to the sale of the bonds to NBS and how certain depositors were able to retrieve their monies.

Surely, there was and is more to this scandal, with government fingerprints all over it, than just ‘bad investments’ and ‘bad judgment’. In fact, any investigation should also target the government, because the President, of all people, was right there in the middle of it, taking the lead role assuring Clico (Gy) depositors in January 2009 that their monies were safe.

Then he rushed to do damage control by asking The Bahamian government for information on the money remitted from Guyana to that country, but when the information he received indicated the money seemed irretrievably lost, he resorted to saying he would use taxpayers’ hard-earned money to replace the US$34M and have it repaid over ten years. Right there was a huge, fluttering red flag. Which government digs into public funds to bail out a private company that loses this much money because it violated existing laws without first prosecuting the violators and or holding a public hearing? Doesn’t this bailout give the impression that government knew all along what was happening to the depositors’ money? Mind you, The Bahamas, in the meantime, said the money from Guyana was used for investments, but the President keeps insisting it was for deposits, as if either deposits or investments would make a difference, when the President should have been more focused on the violation of the law restricting overseas investments to 15% of local funds. And this is the same President whose government just passed legislation which could indefinitely imprison people it determines are criminals, even if a court finds people not guilty and frees them. What a political travesty!

A thorough public investigation into the Clico (Gy) collapse will not only answer questions previously posed, but it can also tell us whether some depositors knew or requested their deposits should end up in ‘real estate investments’ in Florida.

Yours faithfully,
Emile Mervin,
Queens, NY
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« Reply #137 on: March 31, 2010, 10:34:31 AM »

This is why he needs to be removed .... His time is up!

Leadership by example.
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« Reply #138 on: May 26, 2010, 03:00:11 PM »

Another one gets the boot. Shaw was lucky he was only fired and didn't get shit or acid thrown in his face for pointing out the weaknesses of the corporation

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Uitvlugt estate manager sent on early retirement
By Stabroek staff | May 26, 2010 in Local News

GuySuCo’s Uitvlugt Estate manager has been sent on early retirement following issues with performance. Aaron Dukhia, according to a reliable source within the industry, was “sent on early retirement” yesterday. Several efforts made to contact Dukhia for a comment last evening were futile.

The decision to send Dukhia on early retirement, Stabroek News learnt, was taken under a “no-nonsense” stance by the GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Corporation) as part of its turnaround plan.

GuySuCo suffered a $3 billion loss from 2008 with projected cash deficits going forward. Measures in its turnaround plan all target cost-cutting projects coupled with injecting capital. The plan had been banking on the sale of lands at Diamond with a potential net gain of $34B to materialize, in addition to the disposal of several other assets to improve the financial position of the industry which is also plagued by declining levels of sugar production. The Diamond lands remain unsold.

Dukhia is the second GuySuCo manager to be let go this year. On March 15 GuySuCo fired its Materials Manager Aasrodeen Shaw after it was alleged he was found guilty of breaching the corporation’s procurement procedures in the purchasing electrodes. This had resulted in a halt in the Corporation’s operations section, GuySuCo Director Nanda Gopaul later said.

Shaw subsequently said that he was fired by the company because he’d produced a damning report which exposed weaknesses that were costing the corporation millions of dollars.
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« Reply #139 on: May 27, 2010, 08:14:21 PM »

less than one and a half year after the Berbice Bridge was opened, they already have to close the bridge several times to effect repairs. More money more money to burn. So much for the PPP Pigs bragging about the time they would save once the bridge was opened now they are forced to spend overnight because of the closure of the bridge....well overseas Berbicians you people should now factor in the additional long hours you have to wait before you can get to your final destination.

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Travellers should have been informed of Berbice Bridge closure long in advance
GY Times, May 27th 2010

Dear Editor,

Last week persons using the Berbice River Bridge were greatly inconvenienced when it was closed three times a day, and for extensive periods to facilitate repairs. This is the limit. Weren’t the bridge authorities concerned about how we, the travellers, were inconvenienced because of these closures? The long lines of vehicles waiting for hours were reminiscent of the ferry service. The government tried to resolve that backward way of travelling and ease the inconvenience of travellers, but it looks like we are on it again.

The Berbice River Bridge is too new an infrastructure for its retraction span to have such serious and frequent problems. Even if repairs have to be done, at least better scheduling of the repairs would have immunised travellers’ inconvenience. Closing the bridge to vehicular traffic once a day for even two weeks would not have been as bad, but 3 times a day is pure foolishness.

Was good publicity done to inform the public of these closures? The newspapers usually carry dates and times of daily closures, but I didn’t notice any such schedule in the newspapers. And in any case, putting the schedule in the newspapers was not enough.

The bridge management should have put up notices at both ends of the bridge to notify travellers well in advance of the additional closures. That way, if some people didn’t see any notice in the newspapers, then they would have been made aware of the closures.

On Friday, I made a trip to the airport to pick up my relatives, who are visiting the country after seven years. The family of four spent close to 22 hours travelling by air and were very tired and anxious to reach their destination in Springlands. Since I had no previous knowledge of the closures, my guests and I were caught at the bridge and were forced to spend more time waiting. The poor people were tired, hot, angry, hungry and stressed out. They were completely harassed.

I don’t know the deal behind the retractor span needing repairs so often, but at least I would expect that when the bridge is undergoing these unusually long closures, basic courtesy is extended to travellers by informing us well in ad vance and that officials ensure that every possible medium is used in bringing the closure to our attention.

Thank you.
Respectfully,

D Lalbachan
 

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« Reply #140 on: May 28, 2010, 02:35:06 AM »

This is what happens when you build a "state of the art" floating bridge. I recall the PNC doing this in the 60's after building the McKenzie h'way. Here we are 50 years later.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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« Reply #141 on: June 01, 2010, 11:58:55 AM »

yes and now under the leadership of "THE CHAMPION" Guyana is sinking into a STATE OF THE ART shyte creek.
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« Reply #142 on: July 06, 2010, 10:17:32 AM »

Another one has jumped the sinking ship!  so how made a fortune?

GuySuCo CEO resigns
By Stabroek staff | July 6, 2010 in Local News

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Errol Hanoman has resigned, the corporation yesterday revealed. In a brief release GuySuCo said that its Board of Directors had accepted Hanoman’s resignation.

“Mr Hanoman tendered his resignation on July 1, 2010 citing personal reasons for his decision,” the release said. It further stated that he became the CEO in 2009 “at a critical juncture’ and “in keeping with a commitment to turn the fortunes of the Industry around.”

The release concluded with the board thanking Hanoman “for his efforts in this regard” and wishing him well in his future endeavours.
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« Reply #143 on: July 07, 2010, 03:28:42 PM »

This new CEO is doomed to fail before he assume the mantle. I know Bhim we attended the same high school.

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Bhim new sugar chief - as industry faces boiler damage, other challenges
By Stabroek staff | July 7, 2010 in Local News

Struggling production, ongoing problems at the Skeldon factory and a turnaround plan which is yet to turn things around are plaguing the sugar industry as Chief Executive Officer, Errol Hanoman exits months ahead of his contract expiration and Finance Director Paul Bhim takes the reins.


From left: Chairman of GuySuCo Dr. Nanda Gopaul, outgoing CEO Errol Hanoman, new CEO Paul Bhim and Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud. (GuySuCo photo)

Hanoman opted to leave the industry at a critical time, but Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud said yesterday that his departure was not a blow. “Management within the industry will transition smoothly…certainly we have lost tremendous expertise, but there are persons within who we can tap into and continue to implement the plan”, Persaud said.

GuySuCo’s Board of Directors appointed Finance Director, Paul Bhim as the new acting Chief Executive Officer yesterday after Hanoman tendered his resignation on Monday. Hanoman will commence the handing over process to Bhim, according to a press statement from the corporation. It was also reported that Bhim’s appointment was approved by many stakeholders in the industry.


“Production is low”

Reacting to the news of Hanoman’s departure, President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Worker’s Union (GAWU), Komal Chand said the new CEO must focus on improving output. He said production is low and that the first crop numbers this year represent the lowest output during that period since 1991.



article: http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/stories/07/07/bhim-new-sugar-chief/
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« Reply #144 on: July 07, 2010, 03:58:50 PM »

The first crop productin level is already at an all time low since 1991, now GUYSUCO is trying to tell the canecuttahs that the broken boiler at their spanking brand new billion dollar factory will not affect the second crop? Well I suppose they can fool the canecuttahs all of the time

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Skeldon’s sugar boiler goes down
July 6, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News

A boiler at the multi-million-dollar Skeldon Sugar Factory went down yesterday after developing problems, officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) said. However, the setback will not affect the start of the second crop. Officials said that the maintenance crews were cleaning the Number One boiler when “technical difficulties” were experienced and the pressure parts damaged.

A team of officials, including Chairman, Dr. Nanda Kishore Gopaul, yesterday visited the factory to ascertain the extent of the damage. “The officials have determined that the damage to the Number One Boiler will not result in a delay to the start of the second crop this year at Skeldon and will similarly not affect production during this period,” a senior official confirmed.
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« Reply #145 on: July 08, 2010, 04:11:28 PM »

Wonder how long Paul would steer GUYSUCO away from the rocks and into calm waters before he decide to jump from the sinking ship?

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GuySuCo’s musical chairs at the helm
JULY 8, 2010 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
 
DEAR EDITOR,

The news of yet another member of GuySuCo’s top brass leaving the company whether by resignation for “personal reasons” (as is publicly stated in the case of Errol Hanoman) or by removal must be a matter of great concern for all Guyanese due to the tremendous importance of Sugar as a contributor of foreign exchange and a large employer. The sudden resignation of Mr. Hanoman for most discerning readers smells “fishy” to say the least.
However I would like to make the following points:

1) Most organisations experiencing a high rate of turnover at the upper echelons will suffer from low morale among its employees at all levels. This will adversely affect production and productivity inevitably.

2) In the past few years we have had the removal of former Chairman Mr. Ronald Alli and the resignation of Marketing Director Ms. Nisa Surujbally and a host of other senior managers for a host of reasons ranging from poor performance to job satisfaction etc. This high rate of attrition must have an adverse effect on the corporation in every regard as it takes time for new personnel to settle into the job and assert themselves.

3) Clearly the organisation is totally under the control of the political bosses with Messrs Robert Persaud, Gopaul and Ramotar intricately involved in the day to day operation of the corporation and without a doubt our “most hands on President”.
No professionally oriented and independently minded person will be able to perform in an optimal manner when most likely he/she spends half of the day taking political directions and the other half of the day worrying whose instructions to take or whose bidding is to be done. In other words only a “yes” man will survive and thrive in this particular job. When you add into this cocktail the special relationship that GAWU has with the governing party it makes the CEO’s job near impossible
.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Hanoman could only serve for a short while as the corporation does not benefit from the continuity of some policies, strategies and management style he would have adapted, instead the new CEO may be tempted to change course to impress his political masters that the previous man did not know what he was doing.

In closing I would like to make two recommendations Mr. Editor:

1) While recognising the need for the governing party to have representation on the Board, it must allow the corporation to be professionally managed with the best people at the helm and not only those who would be yes men. Set overall policy and let the CEO manage to meet the production, revenue and profitability targets etc.

2) I believe the time is ripe for an independent audit of GuySuCo definitely by a firm based outside of Guyana (for obvious reasons) to look into the poor performance of the corporation especially over the last five years and to look into the reason for the high rate of turnover/attrition at the upper levels and to study on and to pronounce specifically on the effect on performance as a consequence of the heavy hand of the governing masters.

R. Seepersaud
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« Reply #146 on: September 15, 2010, 11:58:38 AM »

now Drugdeo wants to meet with policyholders yet he refused to conduct an investigation into CLICO's violation of the insurance act., all of CLICO's former senior officials should be charged for their role in this fraud and cover up.
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« Reply #147 on: September 28, 2010, 11:42:48 AM »

More theft by government employees.  Now when will they go after all the Ministers (Roberto Dumbo Persaud, Ramsammy Kill-aman, Ashni, Ali, Sattaur and a host of others including Drugdeo) for billions of missing dollars.

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Skeldon’s GM resigns… Estate property reportedly found at his home
September 28, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under News
 
A senior official of the Skeldon Sugar Factory has resigned amidst allegations of misappropriation of property belonging to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). Officials of the Corporation, yesterday, confirmed that General Manager of the estate, Vishnu Panday, handed in his resignation last week after air condition units, among other things, were found at his Turkeyen home, East Coast Demerara. The units were said to belong to the estate.

Additionally, there were swirling questions over a tractor belonging to the estate that was sold for $3M but reflected on receipts as $30,000. There were also questions over furniture that was purchased for the estate but instead were allegedly sent elsewhere. With the spotlight on the multi-million factory, Panday’s management style has been coming under increasing scrutiny over the past months, officials admitted yesterday.

Recently, the factory’s operations suffered a setback after a fire in the bagasse plant damaged the conveyor system. While four employees dismissed were reinstated and five others suspended, there were complaints by a number of staffers that some systems were lacking. It was unclear yesterday whether Panday’s resignation had to do with a growing unhappiness of the state of affairs at the estate in which millions were spent but the returns are still slow in coming.

Skeldon estate is a key part of the administration’s plans to revive a struggling industry that faced a major slash in price and increasing costs, coupled with a labour shortage and weather challenges. The facility was handed over last year to the Guyana Government by the Chinese contractors. However, there were several technical issues, some still being resolved.
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« Reply #148 on: September 28, 2010, 11:47:41 AM »

Nothing will come out of this. They are emptying the coffers on their way out of office and they expect Norway to give them $250M by 2020.
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« Reply #149 on: October 01, 2010, 12:01:42 PM »

And like Rip van Winkle, the micro-manager finally wake up to the fact that sugar is no longer KING is Guyana, while he put three of his buddies on GUYSUCO board just drawing down millions in salaries and kickbacks. And the morons from GINA/OP/Freedumb House claiming that there is no corruption in Guyana when corruption is staring them in the face. According to these clowns that's their definition of improvement in Guyana under Fagdeo. When will he fire the people he put to run the Skeldon factory, who mess it up - in his own words? So noe Fagdeo will turn into a canecuttah to clean up their shit. At the rate Fagdeo and his gang of thugs running things, the whole of Guyana will become a ghost TOWN not just Corentyne

What Fagdeo has finally acknowledged is what myself and a few others have been saying from since day one when Fagdeo came up with his 'castle in the sky' idea!

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SUGAR IN TROUBLE - unless Skeldon factory fixed – President Jagdeo promises to deal with it himself    
Written by Johann Earle     
Friday, 01 October 2010 04:40 

“IT’S dead, it's as simple as that,” said President Bharrat Jagdeo, describing what would become of the sugar industry should the new Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Skeldon factory not work the way it was designed to. President Jagdeo was speaking in Queenstown, Corriverton yesterday at the commissioning of Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI’s) ultra-modern, $1.4B water treatment plant in Berbice.

With some US$200 million expended on the new Skeldon Sugar factory – meant to bring viability to the sugar industry in the wake of recent challenges, including lower prices and bad weather – all of Guyana’s hopes for the industry are pinned on the success of the factory. “Unfortunately, it is not delivering the results that we expected it to. They have too many mistakes going on there and I intend to fix it...I intend to fix it. It has to change. We cannot [make] that sort of investment to have a few people mess it up. So, even if it means personally I have to get involved, I will get involve to ensure that it is fixed, that it’s delivering the kind of results that it should deliver, so that we could safeguard the sugar industry,” said a visibly livid President.

He said that, because of the 36 percent cut in the European Union (EU) price for sugar, the full measure of which was felt from last year, if the Skeldon factory does not work well, the sugar industry in Guyana is dead. Jagdeo said it had been hoped that the bulk of sugar would be produced in the Berbice area at a lower cost so that the average cost would allow us to break even at least on the world market level. “If this doesn’t get fixed, we’re in serious trouble and we made a commitment...we have built it. Most countries exited sugar. Jamaica now has some issues with sugar, Barbados went out of sugar, St. Kitts went out of sugar, Trinidad went out of sugar...they simply didn’t have the commitment,” he said. The President told the gathering that if sugar is not growing in the Corentyne, “this place would be a ghost town.”

He said sugar not only feeds the sugar workers but it feeds the shopkeepers and everyone else. “It is the largest economic activity of this area and if you take this income out, this place becomes very, very vulnerable...and I am not going to let that happen because of a few people,” Jagdeo said. “So whatever it takes, we are going to make it work,” he declared. Over the past months, there have been various instances of glitches in the operation of the factory, despite assurances from Guysuco’s management that the problems would have been ironed out in time for the commencement of the second crop. In addition to the heavy investment in the Skeldon factory, Government has also invested heavily in a packaging plant at the Enmore factory, aimed at further cementing the viability of the sector to withstand the recent shocks.
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