Skeldon Sugar Factory

SKELDON SUGAR FACTORY - A STORY OF DECEIT, DECEPTION, CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM

Sugar is under siege. Since APNU+AFC assumed the control of Government, Sugar has been caught in a web of deceit, deception, corruption and nepotism spun by Granger, Nagamootoo and their colleagues in APNU+AFC. They told the sugar workers and Guyanese during the 2015 General Election campaign that under an APNU+AFC administration the sugar industry will become energized, sugar will retain its role as the KING in our economy and the sugar workers will be given a 20% annual wage increase.

But the deceit and deception have resulted, instead, in the sugar industry contracting, with the closure of Wales Estate and the ending of cane cultivation at Providence at the end of 2016 and the closure of Rose Hall estate in 2017. The promised 20% annual wage increase was a monster deception with sugar workers impoverished by zero wage increases for 2015 and 2016, told that 2017 promises nothing better and denied their earned Annual Production Incentive for 2016. All of this are in direct contradiction to the $75M COI recommendations.

The recent revelation of a Nagamootoo-driven deal with an investor from India, with his son-in-law as a front man, is a blatant example of nepotism that has become a hallmark of APNU+AFC. Nagamootoo met representatives of the Company from India and linked them with his son-in-law. He now claims that his son-in-law is merely acting out of the "goodness of his heart" because he wants to help his country. Nepotism is a poison to our democracy and development, but compounding the problem is the insidious stench of corruption.

After deceiving the nation that there is no plan to privatize Skeldon Sugar Factory and after informing Guyana and the world that Skeldon Sugar Factory was a heap of scrap metal, worth nothing, we are now told that a company from India finds Skeldon an attractive investment. Skeldon is now a prime divestment asset, even after Clive Thomas, speaking on behalf of APNU+AFC, pronounced in late 2016 that Skeldon was a heap of worthless scrap metal.

Now an Indian Company, brought to us by Nagamootoo and his son-in-law, is positing that Skeldon has enormous potential, just as the PPP has always insisted. The Company is suggesting, moreover, that Skeldon factory has the potential to take off an additional 14,000 hectares of cane, confirming the PPP's position and contradicting the claim made by Thomas and APNU+AFC, clearly exposing the deceit of Thomas and APNU+AFC. Their pronouncement of Skeldon factory being a heap of scrap was a deliberate deception to set the stage for giving away Skeldon dirt cheap. Why would anyone want to cheaply give away national assets? The stench of corruption is so tangible it is stinking up the environment.

The suspicion of corruption is heightened when we consider that APNU+AFC had earlier confessed they had signed an MOU with a Trinidadian car parts dealer to buy out Skeldon. What happened to this arrangement? More pertinently, how come this "heap of scrap", unsalvageable according to Thomas and APNU+AFC, is generating such intense interest from international investors? Why is a national asset that APNU+AFC deems unsalvageable and worthless worth so much to international investors?

Inquiring minds and people of reasoning in and outside of Guyana are suspicious that there is deceit and deception in undervaluing a national asset for the purpose of divesting it not to the highest bidders, but to those who may want to indulge in "hanky panky" deals. Hanky panky deals never benefit the country, but are highly beneficial to those who make those deals. When an asset is deliberately under-valued and sold to others there is something sinister in such deals. The Skeldon Sugar Factory is caught in a web of deceit, deception and corruption, with a good dose of nepotism.

Nagamootoo was a chief accuser of the PPP government, charging Jagdeo, Ramotar and their Ministers with nepotism. Granger and APNU were frothing from their mouths alleging nepotism by the PPP when the PPP was in control of the government. But never have there been a two-year period of government in the history of Guyana in which deceit, deception, corruption and nepotism have been as prevalent and pervasive as they are now. Not only pervasive, but deceit, deception, corruption and nepotism have become the blueprint of APNU+AFC's governance and their enshrining of dictatorship in Guyana.

by Dr. Leslie Ramsammy

Original Post

Indian company wants to take over Skeldon Sugar Factory; Guyana yet to respond

n Indian company with international experience in the sugar industry is interested in investing in the low-producing Skeldon Sugar Factory with the aim of making it profitable in less than two years , an investment broker said Sunday.

“From our conversation, we believe that within 18 months or less that Skeldon could be profitable,” Managing Director of Sunrise Holdings, Guyana-born Tony Joseph told Demerara Waves Online News. We believe that with proper management techniques, changes and some modernization of certain areas of the sugar plant, some harvesting changes that we can bring the price of sugar to world market competitiveness,” he added.

Noting that the Skeldon Estate was operating far from capacity, Joseph said the almost US$200 million Skeldon Sugar Factory requires another 14,000 hectares of cane to ensure the factory runs at full capacity and lower cost of production rather than the current 50 percent.

Joseph said the company, Srinathji Ispat Limited, plans to build a refinery to satisfy the Caribbean’s demand for 250,000 tons of refined sugar.

The expression of interest has come at a time when government plans to shrink the operations of the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco).

After a January 23 to 26, 2017 visit to Guyana during which representatives from Srinathji Ispat Limited toured Guysuco’s six estates, Director of Srinathji Ispat Limited, Gaurav Gupta told Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder that his company wants to take over all of Skeldon’s operations.

“After visiting the plant and other facilities; we express our interest for taking over the management and operations of the entire estate including sugar manufacturing and  cogeneration of power divisions and to put required investment for same,”  Gupta said in his letter to Holder.

The Minister of Agriculture told Demerara Waves Online News that he might have seen the letter and the usual process is for investor applications to be sent to the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest).

Joseph said so far Srinathji Ispat Limited has not received even an acknowledgement from the Agriculture Ministry or any other government agency to its letter dated January 27. “At this point in time, we need to have a response from the Ministry of Agriculture and in general the government and Guysuco before we can decide anything. We need to know if they want to accept this letter of interest, if they are interested in moving forward and at that point in time we can start discussing these things,” he said when asked how much it could cost to revive Skeldon.

Srinathji Ispat Limited, following its visit to Skeldon on January 26, 2017, told government that it was ready to provide details and engage in discussions with the relevant authorities. While no figures were immediately available, the company said its investment would be its share in the business.  “We intent to put our equity as investment required for modernization of the plant to operate smoothly and profitably and also for the working capital whereas the existing assets including plant and machinery would be as equity of Guysuco,” Gupta added in the letter.

However, Joseph much would depend on talks with government because “we don’t know how much the government will offer us.”  He said Srinathji Ispat Limited is interested only in Skeldon, barring a “nice” deal for all of the estates. “It’s the most modern. It’s the largest capacity mill. The others we saw didn’t have the capacity to make as much sugar as Skeldon and that’s quite a driving force,” he said.

The two major sugar unions- Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union and the National Association of Agricultural Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE)- and the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) say they need more information from government before responding with concrete proposals on how to save the sugar  industry.

Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, President of Integrated Casetech Consultants Pvt Ltd, Delhi NCR, India, an associate Company of Shrinathji Ispat Ltd and Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, was also part of the delegation that visited Guysuco’s estates last month.

Shrinathji Ispat has worked in the sugar industries and co-generation plants in Mali, Zimbabwe, The Phillipines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India.

Source:

The Minister of Agriculture told Demerara Waves Online News that he might have seen the letter and the usual process is for investor applications to be sent to the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest).

This is where you have to start peeling the onion. Go-Invest have no experience on International Marketing. My Investors want to speak to decision makers and not these inefficient clerks and paper pushers.  

Bibi Haniffa posted:

SKELDON SUGAR FACTORY - A STORY OF DECEIT, DECEPTION, CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM

The recent revelation of a Nagamootoo-driven deal with an investor from India, with his son-in-law as a front man, is a blatant example of nepotism that has become a hallmark of APNU+AFC. Nagamootoo met representatives of the Company from India and linked them with his son-in-law. He now claims that his son-in-law is merely acting out of the "goodness of his heart" because he wants to help his country. Nepotism is a poison to our democracy and development, but compounding the problem is the insidious stench of corruption.

by Dr. Leslie Ramsammy

Ohhhhh really Nagamootoo, your son-in-law is undertaking this project from the "goodness of his heart" ???

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