Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GT&T shareholding in spotlight

The Government has decided to give up its 20% shareholding in GT&T and a number of concerns are being raised in all quarters.

The PNC has questioned the sale of the shares and the Kaieteur news has questioned who will buy the shares as it is opined that the friends of the Government will buy the shares.

The Government, in response to the PNC, attempted to place the telephone company in bad light Here is what the Government said, along with our thoughts:
1) Gog:The annual amount (dividend) paid to GoG fluctuated between 1 and 4 million dollars. The TRUTH: GoG received an average of 2.6 million US$ per year from year 2000.
2) Gog:The shareholder has been prevented from influencing the company. The truth: THANK GOD! The Government would have interfered and bungled everything in their usual style. MORE TRUTH: We suspect the GoG didn't bother to attend meetings and never appointed directors to the board.

It is obvious is that the GoG is very eager to shut this company down - maybe because it was started up under the PNC government and has been a success story for Guyana. The total dividends received by the government more than paid for the sale of the company. Obviously the Government cannot account for any of this money.

The company continues to function without influence of the Government. This does not fit with the Government's plans for control of all telecommunications in Guyana (TV, Newspaper, Radio, Telephone). Maybe Digicel is paying or playing the Piper.

In conclusion, the Government said that it will take the money from sale of shares and put it toward ICT. We challenge the Government to say what it did with the dividends received each year. OR what it did with the company's taxes. GT&T says it pays 15-17 MILLION US dollars in taxes each year....why not invest that in ONE YEAR and get ICT going.

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