By Kurt Campbell
After some 20 years serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth was removed from the position with the option of being reassigned to the Ministry of Agriculture.
This was confirmed on Tuesday by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha who denied claims that Dr. Homenauth had been fired.
“He was never fired, he has a choice if he wants to continue, he will continue here [at the Ministry of Agriculture],” the Minister told the News Room when contacted.
The Minister said while Dr. Homenauth may have chosen not to take up the offer of reassignment, he was never fired.
Mustapha explained that since becoming a Minister in August 2020, he has been engaged in intense strategic planning, and as a result, changes needed to be made in several agencies.
“Things can’t be done in the same old way so we moving him, he is way advanced in age and as Minister, I don’t want to dismiss, so I give him the option to come to the Ministry and work along and overlook,” the Agriculture Minister told the News Room.
He said NAREI needs a new CEO who “can move around and get things done.” The Minister, however, did not name the new CEO, promising that the announcement will be made shortly.
He did, however, confirm that Jagnarine Singh, the former head of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), is among a group of persons he is meeting on Tuesday for a possible appointment to the post.
“The decision [on a replacement] will be made shortly,” he assured.
Calls to Dr. Homenauth by the News Room went unanswered.
According to information in the public domain, in May 2000, Dr Homenauth was appointed as the CEO of NAREI.
While under his command, the institute was the first to establish shade houses, re-emphasise a number of spices, establish a turmeric factory and diversify into potato and onion production.
Dr. Homenauth also led the entity to explore corn and soybean production.