What happened to the $30B GuySuCo loan?

first_imgDear Editor,It is now more than one year since the Special Purpose Unit of NICIL (SPU/NICIL) borrowed $30 billion ($US150 million) on behalf of GuySuCo. Because the money was borrowed at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent, GuySuCo must now pay about $2 billion in interest. Late in 2018, SPU/NICIL disbursed about $2 billion to GuySuCo, but for almost all of the $30 billion; the Guyanese people have no idea where that money is. Worse, the Agriculture Minister admitted late last year that he has no idea where that money is, that he has no idea why the money was taken and, quite frankly, he has no desire to know. GuySuCo’s management has no idea where the money is and, if it is being used, they have no idea how and why it is being used. It is a mystery, just like we do not know what has happened to the $US18 million Exxon bonus.With the no-confidence resolution mandating an election by March 20, 2019, there is amplified interest in where the $30 billion is. But Minister Holder is MIA (Missing in Action), the Guyanese people have no confidence that they will get an answer from him, as the responsible Minister. The President is, understandably, taking care of his health. The Prime Minister is MIA, anxiously worrying if AFC will stay with him as the PM Candidate should APNU+AFC maintain the coalition. In fact, the APNU+AFC are all MIA. The whole Government has gone somewhere, they are AWOL (Away Without Official Leave), MIA, nowhere to be found, excepting the now-and-then photo-opportunity. The nation’s business has been put on hold, even as this Government is defying the law and desperately trying to delay the constitutionally-mandated elections by March 20, 2019.SPU/NICIL has arrogantly dismissed the public’s outrage to inform the nation about the status of the $30 billion loan. There is obvious tension between GuySuCo for whom the loan was taken and the SPU/NICIL. The Agriculture Minister has maintained his disinterest in spite of GuySuCo’s pleas for someone to intervene so that the SPU/NICIL’s sidelining of GuySuCo’s management can come to an end. In fact, the Minister being MIA in this matter is consistent with his position in 2017 that he is not in charge of GuySuCo. At that time, he disowned GuySuCo, insisting that GuySuCo was under the charge of the Finance Ministry and the SPU/NICIL.With elections mandated before March 20, 2019, SPU/NICIL needs to come clean and give an account of what has happened to the $30 billion. In the meanwhile, as the Leader of the Opposition has stated, the privatisation of the closed estates must now wait until after elections. The Opposition party, the PPP, has stated unequivocally that all the closed estates will be reopened, should they win the elections. At the same time, the Leader of the Opposition and the presidential candidate for the PPP have both stated that should the PPP win the next elections, the PPP Government will not recognise any privatisation agreements for the closed estates made in this period.The Guyanese people want an answer and the responsible Minister has an obligation to provide answers. We know he is busy being MIA, but we urge him to show up for just a little so he can discharge his responsibility and tell us where this $30 billion is.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img

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