NICIL predicts Guyana will rebound stronger from COVID-19


Guyana will rebound stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic according to Colvin Health-London.

“We as a country and more so as a people can rebound in a significant way after the passage of COVID19”, said Heath-London who is the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of state-owned agency National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL).

Last month, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, warned that the coronavirus pandemic could eat away 3 percent of the global economy, the steepest fall since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Georgieva’s pessimistic global economic forecast could miss the mark, however, because of the erratic nature and behaviour of the contagious and deadly COVID-19 virus, which the IMF official said is proving difficult to predict.

Head of NICIL’s Special Purpose Unit Colvin Heath-London

The online version of the Guardian recently quoted the top IMF executive as saying: “With no immediate medical solutions, more adverse scenarios might, unfortunately, materialise for some economies.”

Georgieva noted that “it is the unknown about the behaviour of this virus that is clouding the horizon for projections.”

Locally, NICIL is providing financial assistance and is pursuing a wide range of economic projects, without fanfare, to help counter-economic hardships on Guyanese which are directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finances have slowed to a trickle into NICIL’s coffers, but Heath-London said the government-owned agency remains resolute.

“Recognising that many individuals and organisations will need assistance… during this time (of hardship) we (are) playing our part too,” the CEO (ag) said.

“It’s evident that several persons are experiencing difficult times and NIICIL hopes that the resources that we are making available especially to those who are quarantined and are in isolation centres will demonstrate that the Government of Guyana remains committed, dedicated and cognizant that people need help and we at NICIL are providing that help,” Heath-London continued.

NICIL has already drafted a post COVID-19 economic recovery blueprint and the CEO and other executives are upbeat that the country “will bounce back again (and) in a bigger way”.

For now, NICIL will not disclose the nature or cost of the recovery projects, but Heath-London reiterated that “we as a country…can rebound in a significant way after the passage of COVID19.”

Almost US$3 trillion is needed in external financing to manage the twin economic and health crisis resulting from COVID-19.

IMF’s chief economist, Gita Gopinath, commented on the worsening hardships triggered by the contagious disease noted that nascent markets and developing countries would need $2.5 trillion to manage the health and economic crisis.

“This crisis is likely to last longer… and so the needs will go up, even above that number” Gopinath predicted.

The Public Health Ministry which has the lead role in strategising the national answer to combat COVID-19 was lauded by NICIL for refusing to buckle under the daily pressure to respond adequately, appropriately and in a timely manner.

“NICIL recognises that the work being done by the Ministry of Public Health is of a high standard and we would also like to use this opportunity to express congratulations and thanks to all frontline workers throughout Guyana and to remind them that irrespective of the challenges and difficulties that they experience in the execution of their work that NICIL, its Board of Directors, Management and Staff and by extension all of Guyana salute them in a big way,” Heath-London said. (NICIL press release)

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