Why wreck something and then sell it?

first_imgDear Editor,It is difficult to discern whether this Government is serious about intelligence gathering for decision-making purposes, or if it is just involved in political patronage by creating jobs for the ‘boys’, or it is downright incompetent and only seeking self-aggrandisement. While the list seems not to be exhaustive, there seems to be a common trend: nothing it does is liable to benefit the country and its citizens. There is no dearth of examples either when one looks at the hiring of foreign ‘experts’ and professionals; the potpourri of CoIs and the lack of benefits to us from the oil deal.The current GuySuCo fiasco takes us into the realm of the unbelievable. The closing down of Wales and the diversification into rice and now the attempt to reopen and the closing down of Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and the redundancy of the workers and now the attempts to reopen them make it undoubtedly conclusive that this Government has no clue of what it is doing to the industry and I could recall an old cliché which says that ‘one should not cut his nose to spite his face’.This Government spent a total of $175 million in two years on CoIs and these are still continuing. Of this amount, $51.8 million was spent on the GuySuCo CoI and it is public knowledge that the CoI recommended ‘privatisation’ and not ‘closure’, yet the recommendation was thrown aside by the Government which paid for it. The CoI comprised a team of ‘experts’, which included the now Chairman of GuySuCo’s Board of Directors, Dr Clive Thomas. He did the ‘financial and economic’ analysis. If this recommendation was heeded, then the current situation which GuySuCo finds itself in would have been avoided. It would not have needed the Special Purpose Unit to educate this Government that if you want to sell an ‘asset’ profitably, then you need to sell it as a ‘going concern’. What is alarming is the fact that many apologists for this Government concluded that the Government did well!At our Regional Democratic Council (RDC) statutory meeting a few months back, I told the Council that this is a wrong move and I was supported by my colleagues on the Opposition side of the Council. The Government side supported the Government’s move to close down the Estate in Region Six. Mr Samuel Fraser, an APNU Councillor, complimented the Government! The Regional Chairman, Mr David Armogan, had then told him that if you want to sell your car, you cannot remove the wheels and then invite offers. Why would anyone want to wreck something and then sell it?This Government, through its Cabinet and the Minister of Agriculture, did exactly the opposite of what the CoI recommended. They closed down the estates, cannibalised the factories, abandoned the hundreds of millions of dollars of sugar canes in the fields, sent home the workers and triggered a debilitating economic decline, which is being felt not only in the sugar belt but across this country. Additionally, the diversification programme at Wales has failed miserably and some workers are yet to receive their severance pay. Entire communities across these sugar belt areas are on the brink of starvation. What is also clear is the valuation process of the assets should have been done before any closure. This is typical of how the PNC works. It is unimaginable that a Government can be so incompetent! It leaves us to wonder what our fate will be in the next two years!Now it is becoming more evident that this Government did all of this to spite the PPP and its supporters who are perceived to be sugar workers. It is a show of ‘who’s the boss’. However, the fact is that the AFC and APNU received more than its share of support from its traditional base and their conclusion is incomprehensible. Many sugar workers voted for them for the 20 per cent increase, which was peddled on TV by the AFC and by the distribution of leaflets in the sugar estates area. I confronted the AFC member from Fyrish who was distributing this leaflet in my community in the presence of some sugar workers. So, this is not a figment of the sugar workers’ imaginations.In my opinion, the situation will worsen, since it is now accepted that the valuation process will take longer than anticipated and the SPU attempts to recommence sugar production at these estates will fail with the huge stock of sugar canes being spoiled beyond salvage. The closure not only destroyed the workers but the estates as well. This Government has succeeded in utilising $40 billion of taxpayers’ money to further destroy the industry.The action of this Government reminds me of Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion, “O, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRegion Six RDCCouncillorlast_img read more