Govt takes issue with ad on new GuySuCo Board – Harmon

first_imgThere seems to be an upset at the executive level of Government over the publication of the new Board of the Directors of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).Government holding company, the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) on Wednesday published in the local newspapers, the members of the new GuySuCo Board of Directors.However this move seemed to have not gone down well with members of Cabinet,Minister of State, Joseph Harmonwith Minister of State Joseph Harmon telling reporters on Thursday that, “There is some issue with respect to the timings of certain publications in the newspapers but I think that is all that there is, a matter of timing of the publication.”According to the ad which was also placed in Guyana Times on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the new Board was approved by Cabinet on February 26, 2018 and the appointments took effect on March 1.However, this revelation comes on the heels of the State Minister telling reporters at the post Cabinet press briefing last Friday that Cabinet was still deliberating on the new GuySuCo Board members.In fact, the Government’s spokesman reiterated on Thursday that the matter is still being considered by Cabinet.“As I said the last time I spoke to the media, this is a matter that was engaging the Cabinet and it still is,” he said.Further probed on whether there will be any chances to the names published inSPU Head and proposed GuySuCo Board Chairman, Colvin Heath-Londonthe ad, Minister Harmon said, “I’m not saying that, it is being dealt with at Cabinet.”According to the published ad, Head of the Special Purpose Unit Colvin Heath-London was named Chairman of the new Board while the other members include Fritz McLean, Komal Singh, Verna Adrian, Vishnu Panday, Annette Arjoon-Martins, Arianne McLean, Roshan Khan (Jr) and George Jervis.The other two names to be added to the list of the 11-member Board will be GuySuCo executives. Their names will be announced when the appointments are confirmed.The revelation of the new Board comes over two weeks since Guyana Times reported that former Chairman, Dr Clive Thomas, was “booted” from the post in favour of Heath-London. The SPU falls under NICIL, which in itself falls under the Finance Ministry.A leaked supposedly secret Cabinet document, seen by this newspaper, had contained the nine named nominees and two unnamed GuySuCo executives, while reports surfaced that some members of the Alliance For Change (AFC) arm of the coalition Government were not in favour of removing the last Chairman.Nevertheless, one of the main stakeholders had called for more industry insiders to sit on the decision-making body. A senior Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) official related that the Board should have included multiple persons with actual first-hand knowledge in the sugar industry.“We would like to see more people who understand sugar agriculture to be placed on the Board. Even from the last Board, it wasn’t so and from what it appears from this Board, it might not have enough people with that understanding but of course, Panday is very knowledgeable but he is just one person,” the GAWU official told this publication.Meanwhile, following the publication of the new Board members on Wednesday, Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharman brushed aside criticisms that the new members lack the skills to manage the sugar industry efficiently, given the crisis facing the heavily indebted and cash-strapped Corporation.Sharma went on to defended the competence of the individuals who have been handpicked by the Government as he believes they bring a wide cross-section of skills and new ideas.“Once you have the skillset to manage, I don’t see any problem with that… If you told me that the management doesn’t have experience in sugar then that would have been a different story but a Board is a set people with different skills set that could add to and contribute to the industry and the company’s improved performance,” Sharma contended.last_img

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