As the clash between the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL)- which took over some of the Corporation’s assets – deepens, Finance Minister Winston Jordan has called for the “infighting and outfighting” to stop.
He was responding to concerns raised by Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and Chief Executive Officer of the GuySuCo Dr. Harold Davis Jr. over the $30B syndicated bond secured to revitalise the three remaining sugar estates.
Reports are that Holder raised concerns over the monies being released in tranches. So far, it was stated that close to $2B was received. That sum was used to cover employment costs and pay interests. At a Press Conference held to launch Agriculture Month activities, the Minister said the Special Purposes Unit which was set up to divest the closed sugar estates secured the bond to cover GuySuCo projects while it works to divest the closed sugar estates. But he said this cannot be done with the money being delivered in tranches.
Since the SPU was established, Holder repeatedly denied having anything to do with the sugar sector, despite GuySuCo remaining under the Agriculture Ministry.
He recently complained that he has not seen the bond.
According to an article carried in the Guyana Chronicle on Friday, Dr. Davis also said he is in the dark when it comes to the bond facility and its terms and conditions but said it was a bad deal.
Minister Jordan, when approached on Friday, said the deal is a “great” one. He added that “all that it requires is for discipline to be executed for the requirements to be adhered to and the monies will be disbursed in no time.”
The Finance Minister said: “I don’t know which bank will extend 30 billion dollars of credit or loan and have you spend it as you see fit…I don’t know anybody who will disburse money under any other terms for a corporation that had gobble up so much of the treasury’s money in the past for which quite frankly is very little to be seen.”
“We need to stop what might appear to be infighting and outfighting and do what is necessary the money is there we need to do what is necessary to get the money to be invested in the areas that have been identified and these are areas consistent with what GuySuCo wants,” Jordan said.
On Friday, GuySuCo’s management also blocked the launching of a sports bar at its La Bonne Intention (LBI) compound. The LBI compound was this year transformed into the Sugar Corporation’s headquarters.
The building, which was a staff club, was transformed into a sports bar by the SPU.
According to reports, GuySuCo’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Audreyanna Thomas told reporters that the sports bar is a deviation from the principles of the Corporation.