Minister Holder’s outburst an irresponsible demonstration of leadership

first_imgDear Editor,The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) was taken aback after the Union listened to Agriculture Minister Noel Holder’s seeming outburst on a local television newscast of September 26, 2018, regarding the $30 billion aimed at securing and revitalising the operations of the three remaining Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) estates. It was reported that the Minister is clueless about the monies that were borrowed. The Minister said “…so they have now apparently secured some $30 billion bond, which GuySuCo management has not seen, which the Minister of Agriculture has not seen, and frankly speaking don’t really want to see.” Minister Holder went on saying, “… am I don’t understand, I am like you, I can’t understand why you got $30 billion, pay four per cent interest, sit on it and don’t hand it over to who supposed to use it.”It seems to us that apparently Minister Holder is out of the loop regarding the monies that have been borrowed which are backed by a sovereign Government guarantee and secured by the assets of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) – which incidentally belong to the people of Guyana. The Minister’s tirade, as it were, is yet another demonstration of how the affairs of the country are addressed by the Granger Administration. It also, once more, brings into focus the Administration’s more than confused approach to the sugar industry generally.But apart from that, the Minister’s venting is a serious indictment on him and his performance. GAWU would want to believe that as a responsible leader of our country, entrusted with overseeing one of the largest sectors of the country, he would have sought to get to the bottom of where the borrowed monies were and seek to channel it to the industry which requires it urgently. We saw the new GuySuCo Chairman, John Dow, in the September 27 Guyana Times, being quoted as saying “…you cannot get increases in production without spending money in getting that infrastructure and equipment up to scratch”. But in contrast to the GuySuCo Chairman, the goodly Minister Holder is saying he doesn’t want to see the monies borrowed. We wonder how more incredulous can the Agriculture Minister get.Minister Holder’s stewardship of sugar, and some can say of the entire agricultural industry, has been, by many standards, less than acceptable.The GAWU recalls the Minister’s quick abrogation of responsibility for the sugar industry when the nation learnt, the Granger Administration, transferred GuySuCo to the auspices of NICIL. It seems that the Minister is least bothered, apparently, by doing the best he can do and has simply resigned himself to escape responsibility as best as he can.This lethargic approach from a senior Minister who has such weighty responsibilities is a disservice to our country’s people and is, certainly, no encouragement to a main productive sector of our economy.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img

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