Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh Fip! Jagdeo awards G$3bln contract without tender.

Not so long ago we questioned why FIP hasn’t flipped the switch on the Amaila Hydro Electricity. Then, lo and behold! we hear that Master Planner and ‘Strategiser’ Jagdeo has awarded a whopping US$15 million to SYNERGY Holdings to build an access road to the Amaila Falls dam site ! That's 3 BILLION G$!

What is very obvious is that this official ‘ELECTIONS’ time has the PPP government flicking (in this case FIPering) backwards to make some of their promises a reality- we see them trying to pour all the ‘portions’ and magic dust to make the Skeldon Factory work and now more than 15 years after the promise of cheaper electricity they are building roads to the site! Wow ! 15 years ago we didn’t realize that we needed. roads to the Amaila Falls area.

But here are our concerns about this other SHADY JAGDEO commitment-
- The President took it upon himself (last week) to announce the award of this US$15 million contract to Synergy Holding for the building of roads to the proposed Hydro Project site.
- This means that a Company with NO history or experience in road building will build a road - and in 8 months! (Brass around the corner).
- The 2010 Budget showed an allocation for this project under the Ministry of Finance saying that it is allocating a apart of $615 Million to construct an access
to the Falls and for related infrastructural works. Note the difference between the Budgeted allocation of 615million to the award of 3 BILLION.
We ask:
1) When was a Tender for this project published? In what the Media?
2) When did Synergy Holdings bid for this project and who are the other Companies that bid?

Sadly we conclude that this is yet another eyepass on Guyana.

In addition, this announcement is so murky you are left to wonder like Alice - what exactly happens to the existing road, an all weather road through Tumatumari?

Reports are that Synergy said that it needs 30 miles of new road and may have double those demands two years ago.

Here we have a government that is moving with haste to build a road to the Hydro site when there is no proper road from Georgetown to Madhia?

This is beyond madness or poor planning - to get to the Site- you have to take a plane to Kaieteur Falls and use the same Tumatumari road in- to get there by road you have to use the Georgetown to Madhia road and then haul materials in from there- the Madhia road is in no state to transport heavy duty equipment and materials to build this road Synergy is now task to build!

NOW that we have vented on those points, we can also ask: Please Mr. Jagdeo, tell us where is the Environmental Impact Assessment from the EPA?? And more so the Benn Land Use Committee??

Can we imagine that with the demand of more than 60 miles of new road - those Norwegian Satellite images would not be pretty!

As Janette Bulkan explained recently ‘the government will need to report the deforestation and loss of forest carbon as a result of the road upgrades and new construction to the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative’

So, its not Oh 'fip' it's once again, "Oh Jagdeo!"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Special talent - significant skills

Geeta Singh Knight - the person who caused the most flagrant abuse of investment laws in Guyana has been praised for her special skills by the President of Guyana.

In a recent press release, Jagdeo praised Knight for her significant skills. I guess, no one was looking at Jagdeo to see which foot was in his mouth as he made that statement. He then went on to note that no one siphoned moneys out of Clico Guyana.

What are the facts?
There are laws that control the amount of money that can be invested overseas by any institution. Apparently, Ms. Knight (like Jagdeo) realized that she had significant skills and the laws did not apply to her. So she sent (no siphoned) all the poor people's money to Bahamas.

With the realization of the impending crash, she spoke to Jagdeo. They arranged for certain transfers to save certain institutions and persons. Todate no public declaration has been made as those last minute deals that took place.

What deals took place between NIS (headed by Luncheon), Berbice Bridge (Headed by Knight herself) and NBS (Headed by Gopaul) and Jagdeo? No one will know of the liquid flows of money!

But, the poor people who tied up their savings for annuity - and even the mighty GAWU was not spared the blemish of Ms. Knight's significant skills.

Is it not criminal therefore that she broke the investment laws or insurance laws or whatever they are called?

However because of the things she now has to hide, she is awarded with heading the Audit Committee of the largest sugar company in the Caribbean!

What more? She is supposed to be the spouse of a former Finance Director of the same sugar company.

Significant skills! This is $$ not Samille!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The state of Diplomacy in Guyana

It’s a down right shame!

The State of Our Diplomacy is a shame. Fine enough we have had to see Clement Rohee head the Foreign Affairs Ministry (he didn’t know the difference between Dominica and the Dominican Republic), Sam Hinds take his written address to a Foreign Delgation from his pocket, and Bharrat Jagdeo taking his friends for a ride around the world as if they were diplomatic officers.

But the State of our Foreign Service is a down right shame! It is at an all time low. Imagine the Foreign Service Institute has been closed! This department which was once used to train career diplomats is now closed! But we simply do not need such an office because to get a diplomatic post as you need is a party card.

The faces of Guyana’s diplomacy are not those who were trained to negotiate strong bi-laterals. Maybe this could explain why Brazil decided to open the Takutu Bridge without informing us, why Suriname flinging an old threat in our way and why we cannot make the most out of China, by far one of the most important and growing players on the world stage.

Recent diplomatic posts are just plain PARTY CARD HOLDERS:

- Merlin Udho (Women’s Progressive Organization Member) is Ambassador to Suriname.
- Mitra Devi Ali (wife of a late former PPP member) and former Permanent Secretary in the Legal Affairs Ministry is the Ambassador to Cuba
- Harrynarine Nawbatt- Former Housing Minister is the Ambassador to Brazil, yes Brazil one of the largest economies in South America.
-Ronald Gajraj- Former Home Affairs Minister and of the Death Squad fame- Ambassador to India, another world player.

While these appointments have happened in recent times, the government has failed to appoint a representative to the United Nations!

The young Ms, Anyin Choo is the Charge d’Affaires in Guyana’s Embassy in China!
There seems to be no bold move to name a career diplomat to take that post!

A couple of other old heads who are around and have grown to be respected are Dr. Patrick Gomes- Ambassador to Brussels and the EU, Odeen Ishamel, Ambassador to Venezuela, Laleshwar Singh, Guyana High Commissioner in London and Bayney Karran who has served in Washington as Representative to the OAS.

But what is will happen to our diplomatic face? Already the President feels that it is his personal mission to ensure that he meets with and negotiates or begs Foreigners. Between 2008 and 2010 he has been to Iran twice, Dubai, Libya, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait and Syria. Not forgetting Russia, where we are sure he brokered some deals.

However the details of the personal deals remain undisclosed. The public is only privy to any ‘deal’ when upsurge of activity takes place in certain areas. Until such time, we are told of ‘debts’ and ‘partnerships’. It is when we see Russian TV relayed on Ch 28 or dolphins shipped out that we know how deep the deals are.

Meanwhile the face of Guyana’s diplomatic community remains shrouded in a veil of presidential choices.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It pays to have friends

Pharmaceutical baron turn media Mogul Dr. Bobby Ramoop may never speak publicly, as a matter of fact he will never avail himself to the media or such agencies to be questioned. We would not respect any interview he gives to Times Tv or Guyana Times but Dr. Ramroop as a ‘major’ player needs to open his mouth.

The man rose to fame as a major player in his company, the new Guyana Pharmaceutical Company, a company known for the local producing medical supplies and medication but also receiving shady contracts from the Health Ministry (the same Company that produced ARVs that saw the watchful eyes of the US Government pulling its funds from that Project forcing us to seek ARVs overseas)

But, Dr. Ramroop’s bread is well buttered, a friend of a President and close confidant, the man could close his eyes and breathe money. The well known ‘indian elite’ is also noted for receiving a ‘sweetheart’ deal, better known as the Queen’s Atlantic Deal, a series of unlawful concessions for Ramroop’s Company.

These deals might have been backed dated to when Ramroop acquired the Sanata Textiles Property but who is checking?

But will Dr. Ramroop ever speak publicly?

Reports are that he was once cornered for an interview by a Former Stabroek News Senior Journalist but told her that he would grant her an interview when she leaves that Newspaper.

Ramroop may never be able to explain how he single handedly acquiring billions of dollars in contracts from the Health Ministry?

He may never be able to explain why he and Eddie Boyer continue to fight Robert Badal over the East Bank Demerara Property

He may never venture to explain the Queen’s Atlantic deal and how he got duty free concession to import pieces of equipment that are still to be used.

And what about explaining this telephone company and Commercial bank, Ramroop is now touted be behind??

It pays to have friends.

Stories of the dark - Safdar Ali

As all eyes were on Shadfar Ali, the REO now infamously known for being wanted by the Police.

One B. Johnson and Nanda Kisson were busy writing President Bharat Jagdeo and the Dr. Roger Luncheon about other characters, Sewchand, the Permanent Secretary in the Local Government ministry and Ashford Ambedkar the Deputy REO. As long back as 2008 Johnson wrote President Jagdeo asking him for an investigation into Sewchand.
This Johnson said that he is a staff member of the Local Government Ministry.

In a letter dated 27th May, 2008 Johnson said that it looks like all the contacts recommended by the Sewchand are awarded by the National Tender Board.
He told the President in this letter that a contractor from region 5, one ERROL LALL tendered in the later 2007 for Purain #2 Bridge at Blairmont, but Lall was not the lowest bidder. Johnson said that Lall won the $17 million contract because he was recommended by SEWCHAND.

Johnson went on to say that LALL won the award for the Lusignan Nursery School. Lall again was not the biggest bidder.

Johnson added in that letter to the President that SEWCHAND continues to make several recommendations for contracts to be given out. He listed the purchase of a Low bed for Region 6 and the construction of the Region four RDC office.

Johnson alleges that Sewchand continues to collect quotations and send to the Regional offices and tells them who to buy from.

All this information is in writing to President Jagdeo and yet not one investigation!

In another letter, Nanda Kisson of Nanda Parlour Grocery in Enmore wrote Dr. Roger Luncheon displaying what she described as frustration with the attitude of Deputy Region Four Executive Officer, Ashford Ambedkar.

Kisson said that she was a supplier for the region in 2009 but every time she received her payments he would have to give Ambedkar with 5% of the payment!

Kisson said that one Saturday morning Ambedkar called her and told her that his telephone and electricity would be disconnected is the bills are not paid. Kisson said that

Ambedkar threatened that if the bills were not paid he, Kisson would not receive payments due to her.

Kisson in the letter to Dr. Luncheon said that she borrowed money from her sister and paid the bills.

Kisson in that same letter said that on Christmas Eve day. Ambedkar called her and told her that ‘things brown for the holiday and if nothing na dey’.
Kisson said that she hired a taxi and sent Ambedkar $25000. Kisson told Dr. Luncheon that Ambedkar also requested $35000 in beverages.

The Single parent of Two told Dr. Luncheon that she would be willing to testify if necessary. That letter was copied to the Auditor General, the Local government Ministry and the Public Service Ministry.

To date…

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nepotism and abuse of state funds

(According to News Center of MoneyControl) Caricom heading for bankruptcy, says Guyana President

It would appear, according to Jagdeo, that Caricom is heading for bankruptcy. Well, he has to know what he is talking about as he is clearly bent on putting Guyana in the same position.

In a previous article we positioned Jagdeo's intent on his fiber optic cable that should see the successful completion of the Queens Atlantic data center and IT center. This blog has learnt that after the fall-out of the Norwegian US$30 million deal, Jagdeo has vowed that he will build his cable with local funds.

However, no one has seen the feasibility study of Jagdeo's cable and its total cost to Guyana. What is becoming more real than apparent is the sidling off of state funds to complete the
resident's Pet Projects, a PPP - which will continue long into the PPP's next election victory.

While the data project seems noble, this blog will be proven by the test of time for the use of Jadgeo for e-governance. We predict that the cable will be completed, will be used by the Bees (the Bees will form the management committee) - all achieved by abusing Guyana's national treasury for meeting personal financial goals.

Meanwhile, the abuse of state funds will continue. More Presidential Pet Projects will be done by state funding and the 2011 elections will see the national reserves at an all time low of 300 million (which incidentally will be 200m more than what the PNC had). Donald will boast about the 300m as being a better performance than the PNC.

Before year end, the sale of state assets will ensure the rebuilding of the reserves.
So, the Bees will have be laughing all the way to the bank - with my money!

Guyana features in Poker News

Guyana Opens First Casino, But Locals Barred from Gambling

The Princess Hotel in Guyana officially opened the country's first casino last week, but because of a law passed in 2007, Guyanese residents are forbidden from playing there. The Gambling Prevention Act restricted Guyanese gambling after several religious leaders and politicians led an anti-gambling crusade. For now, the only people who can gamble at the casino's 300 slot machines and 11 gaming tables are international ecotourists and the many Brazilians the casino hopes will travel there to gamble.

The government decided to grant limited casino licenses to hotels with a minimum of 150 guest rooms as a way to accelerate the growth of the country's young tourism industry. Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo denounced the hypocrisy of opening a casino where only foreigners are welcome, saying that freedom of choice should outweigh antigambling concerns. “For me, this is something that I find distasteful. I believe that Guyanese should enjoy all of the choices in the country… our society is a moderate one…there was opposition, but we will give people choices,” Jagdeo said.

The Princess Hotel is owned by Turkish hotel group Princess Group, which owns 14 hotels internationally. The company, which bought the hotel for $15 million in 2008, is exploring legal loopholes that would allow Guyanese residents to gamble at the casino as long as they are guests of the hotel. In addition to slots and table games, the casino plans to host poker tournament satellites in the future.

Legalized Gambling illegal to Guyanese - Imran Khan

Legalized Gambling illegal to Guyanese
By Imran Khan

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Following comments made by President Bharrat Jagdeo at the formal opening of the Princess Casino there has been a reheating of the debate on the virtues of casino/gambling legislation in Guyana. The President finds himself in some difficulty with regard to what appears to be an about face on the issue given his most recent comments and has been copping some criticism.

There is merit in most of the criticisms I have seen, however I have found that a narrow view is being mostly propagated (perhaps for political and other convenience) when there is a critical larger issue which needs to be ventilated.

The point of conditional and thus discriminatory casino/gambling legislation, in my opinion, takes a U-Turn from basic human equality – an essential facet of life now, apparently, taken much for granted to the point where it is treated with scant regard by even our National Assembly.

In my mind the issue is a simple one which can be a sorted through by asking a basic question. “How can an individual – regardless of who he or she is – have a legally protected right to partake in an activity in MY country which legally I, as a citizen of said country, am debarred from participating in?”

I am not a gambler and I may never visit a casino in Guyana or anywhere else, however I take offense to any law which prevents me from participating in an activity which foreigners are allowed to freely partake in. There can be no moral justification of it in what we all consider – perhaps to varying degrees – to be a democracy. The freedom of choice has been withdrawn from locals while foreigners have that option.

I have agonized over this to find some way of accepting that it can be. I am unable to find even an iota of sense or good judgment in it.

My view is that gambling should either be made legal and permissible for all in Guyana (whether Guyanese or not) or it should be an illegal activity for all. Legislation which discriminates on the basis of nationality reverses hundreds of years of social advancement.

It cannot be legal for some and illegal for others. Surely we have not forgotten times when there were restaurants for some, washrooms for some and when the front of the bus was only for some among other discriminatory practices.

The contention that government should allow vices for foreigners in our land whilst ‘protecting’ its citizenry from these vices is a flagrantly dangerous one as it is grounded in false logic and flawed thinking.

It is, in fact, the bedrock of hypocrisy.

The legislation as it now stands allows a loophole which defeats the presumed intention of the law. A local can very well enter and partake in the activities of the casino if they are a guest of the hotel. Therefore there is no real protection of the citizenry against the vice. It is in fact a worsening of the vice.

Whereupon a Guyanese wishing to gamble could have just walked into the casino and so do, they now have to expend additional financial resources to book a room to qualify themselves to gamble. For persons who are intent on gambling this is not a deterrent, it is a mere inconvenience. Addicts will find a way of overcoming the hurdles and the current design of the law aids them in so doing.

Also for government to take the role of – based on the construct and operations of our Parliament – unilaterally determine what is good and what is not for citizenry and enshrine same in law is to set a scandalously treacherous precedent – the perils of which, through unkind experience, I am sure most are all only too familiar with.

What next? Exclusive dining options for foreigners? Special airport transportation services only for foreigners?

The precedent has been set.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


In January 2009 the President assured Guyanese of an alive and well Marriot Hotel, aback of Kingston.

With the government already spending millions of dollars on relocating and revamping 42 sewage pipes it was a done deal ! or so u would think.

Why has President Jagdeo held on to a deal that is dead with no real hope of revival? One can only think that he believes that there was such a DEAL.

WHY ? Why? EXACTLY WHY HASN’T THE MARRIOT HOTEL BUILT?? We refuse to believe that the Marriot Deal was used to moved squatters off the seawall, we refused to believe that the Marriot could have replaced the Pegasus and we refuse to believe that the President dreamt that he has a deal with the company, Marriot Incorporated.

This ‘Marriot Hotel deal’ was expected to be closed since mid 2008 but then the President said that “That was the time when the turmoil in the capital markets escalated with the collapse of some financial institutions and you had the catastrophic drop in the stock exchange and the credit crunch deepened and therefore, traditional sources of capital that were identified were no longer there. So the financial closures simply could not have happened,”

In May 2009 government advertised for expressions of interest in a joint venture for the a location aback of the Kingston Seawall. The Privatisation Unit said the government was seeking interested investors for the project, a total of 6.9 acres of land situated in the north-western part of Kingston bordered by the Atlantic and the Demerara River. The government was look for an investment of US$20M.

Oh well and in 2010? We still await this government rated 5 Star hotel or RIP Marriot.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boycott looms for Guyana's 1st elections since '94

Boycott looms for Guyana's 1st elections since '94
(Associated Press)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Opposition leaders in this South American country threatened Thursday to boycott the first municipal elections in 16 years over a plan to give a government-dominated commission control over local affairs.

The government says the proposed seven-member commission would reduce the central government's power over cities, but critics note that the government would still appoint a majority of its members.

"We can't agree with this and are not prepared to work with this," said Oscar Clarke, general secretary of the main opposition People's National Congress.

Clarke said his party might boycott planned April elections if the government doesn't agree to give local governments greater control over their own affairs, such as helping decide how to allocate funds.

He complained that the current system gives the central government power to fire and hire key city staffers, as well as to withhold funds for municipalities and neighborhood councils.

The government has proposed the commission plan to parliament as an alternative.

Vishnu Persaud, Guyana electoral commission spokesman, said officials are planning elections for a still-unset date in mid-April to choose mayors and councilors of six towns and 65 rural districts.

Guyana has not elected mayors, district and village leaders since 1994, largely due to continuing disputes about how to update voter registration lists.

Disputes over voting lists also prompted delays in several recent presidential elections.

Plans to hold municipal elections last year were scrapped because officials said new voter cards based on updated lists were not yet ready and a redistricting project had not been completed.

Presidential and general elections are scheduled to be held next year.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Business Monitor International rankings

The recent (March 2010) issue of the BMI's Latin America and Caribbean Monitor gives Guyana a very low ranking for a number of areas. BMI has also provided a scathing outlook and its own projection of growth for Guyana.
A summary:

Guyana scores 38.1 in BMI's business environment ratings, ranking it 117th out of 167 states.

"According to Finance Minister Ashni Singh, sugar production will add 1.0 percentage points to real GP growth in 2010, in contract with our own more cautious stance on state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation's growth potential. as a result, we hold to our 3.5% real GDP forecast for 2010."

BMI view on Government
"Domestic opposition to government intervention in the economy is becoming the biggest threat to the ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) electoral hopes in 2011. with little chance of a constitutional amendment to allow President Bharrat Jagdeo to stand for re-election,t he party will be hard pushed to regain its majority, in our view."

BMI's view on Data and forecasts
"Our concerns over Guyana's fiscal woes have been exacerbated by the Government's 2010 national budget, which pledges a substantial uptick in infrastructure and social expenditure. If revenue flows fail to meet government's expectations - which we expect will be the case given that our own 3.5% real GDP growth forecast for 2010 is lower than Government's 4.4% forecast - the fiscal gap could be substantially above 2009 levels. Until we get a clear breakdown of the planned budgetary expenditure, we hold to our GY22.3bln (or 7.9% of GDP) central government deficit forecast.

UPDATE (WPG update)
WPG has been reliably informed that the Norwegian's LCDS promise is evaporating faster than the carbon emissions. The money will now be tied up in the World Bank's coffers until that institution is satisfied that proper accountability is in place for its use.

The LCDS fund was the main source of funding for the Government's fiber optic cable and the road to Amalia falls. Since that is now uncertain, we opine that Jagdeo will force Finance Minister to get Parliamentary release of funds for those projects.

With a clear majority in parliament, they will get what they want - resulting in greater deficits per the BMI projections.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who will prevail - Guyana's PPP Presi-race

The battle continues for the Presidency candidate for the ruling party.

Some are secretly endorsing others while some are declaring ‘goat aint bite me’
But who will prevail?

We have already analyzed and opined the possibility of constitutional changes that can see the young dictator continuing his rule. For instance, the pursuit of overseas voting by filing a constitutional motion can see GECOM postponing the holding of any elections to have those in the Diaspora registered.

This postponement of the elections could see the government holding office for the next two years (and dictator holding unto presidency)

Then there is another theory being touted:
The Dictator steps out the race, returns to "help" as Prime Minister and then sworn in as President.

Guyana's Constitution says that the any president is barred from running for a third term for that Office. But the current dictator will not run for the Presidency or better yet be elected as President. He could be the Prime Minister or serve as another Minister in the government and be sworn in as President if the President at that time is unable to perform the duties of President.

With that aside, from the looks of things the Opposition Parties may not have a chance at even grasping at the seats of government.

The PNC is virtually dead, probably presently on saline solution but is dying a slow death. The only other real party at this time is the Alliance for Change, but what chances they really have in picking up the needed votes for change? They are gonna pick up a few votes from the young and professional, but there is no real indication that Guyanese are really ready to vote on issues and not race.

So who will actually be around in 2011?

Well, the race is apparently still on between Donald Ramotar, Ralph Ramkarran, Clement Rohee and possibly Moses Nagamottoo for Presidential candidate.

These could be all a puppet show.

Word out is that a few have been booted and a few promised promotions. For instance:
--> Carolyn Rodrigues is tipped to be Prime Minister while
--> Sam is said to be rehired as a consultant.
-->Robeson Benn who was once tipped to be Prime Minister but who has ‘hammered’ too many wrong nails is tipped to be Minister of Mining. (a post set up to ensure that mining is minimized to capitalized on the LCDS finds)
--> Donald Ramoutar will be Minister of Works
--> A Ministry of Communications is to be shared by someone close to the President and yet to be named.
--> There is word that Odinga Lumumba will be made a Junior Minister (possibly the Sports Ministry)
--> Irfaan Ali is expected to be the Culture. Youth and Sports Minister
--> The current Culture Minister will probably be a serving doctor at the Georgetown Public Hospital or head a foreign funded health programme.
--> Pauline Sukhai will remain Amerindian Affairs Minister.
--> Kellawan Lall is said to have already gotten the boot.
--> Manniram Prashad will not return (he is making no money holding the post of Tourism Minister)
--> Priya Manickchand will remain and her sisiter Jaya Manickchand is tipped for a Junior ministerial role.
--> So is Attorney General in waiting Anil Nandalall (and no, he will not be AG) Charles Ramson will remain there until someone else gets Senior Counsel Status and accepts the job.
--> Region 6 Chairman Zulfikar Mustapha is tipped for a ministerial post.
--> Robert Persaud will retain his post.

But there are a few who MAY retain their post for the fear of interdiction by the United States. Leslie Ramsammy is one of those.

These are The Happy Faces of the PPP government to come in 2011 !

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Guyana's faux pas - data vs power

Wikipedia says:
"The electricity sector in Guyana is dominated by Guyana Power and Light (GPL), the state-owned vertically integrated utility. Although the country has a large potential for hydroelectric and bagasse-fueled power generation, most of its 226 MW of installed capacity correspond to inefficient thermoelectric diesel-engine driven generators."

Wikipedia also notes that Guyana's blackout (power outage) is the highest incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The most incisive statement is that,"Electricity prices in Guyana are the third highest in the Caribbean." The rates range between US$0.25cents for residences and US$0.35cents for businesses (kWh). See GPL site.

The promise of cheaper power has been echoed for more than 30 years by several governments and now seems only a comfort to fools. It has been years since we have been told of Hydro Electricity and how such a venture would save us of billions of dollars we already spend each year on our fuel bill. For instance, our petroleum import bill for 2007 was almost 40% of our GDP. Not much has changed since then has it?

However, the Government of Guyana is now throwing more than US$37million behind bringing another fibre optic cable, a cable which benefits are still to be calculated.

In 2008 the President of Synergy Holdings Inc. (Makeshwar Motilall) spoke of bringing the Amaila Falls Hydro Project to a working state as he calculated an investment in this project at $400 million. Since 2002 we hve heard that the Hydro project has been slated to begin year after year. In 2006 Mr. Motilall was quoted as saying that the financial closing and ground breaking for this project were targeting for 2007 with December 15 2010 as the latest commence of work date. This 100 mega watt station is said to aid in the development of large scale industries and domestic consumption.

But has the government changed its course of direction in pursuing hydro power? Since the Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the government and Synergy Holdings Inc, the Company has repeatedly been quoted in the local press as saying it is awaiting financial closure.

As noted above, The government has now quickly secured more than US$37 million to bring a competing fibre optic cable to promote e-governance and break the Guyana Telephone and Telegraphy Company monopoly. While the President has said that his cable will be used for egovernenace, his Ministers and the PPP MPs have insisted (even in Parliament) that their cable will be competitive.

At the same time, the telephone company (GT&T) has said that it was/is investing US$60 million on a new undersea cable.

So, while the Government is finding US$37 million for a data cable, it is hard pressed to find a Lesser amount for hydro electricity?

Why are they investing in something that others are investing in when they cannot supply basic power? What will the GoG's customers pay for bandwidth prices and will the GoG be regulated?

Also, what will power up the customers' data customers?

There is more to this data cable deal than can be explained by economics, politics or by the lame excuse that they want to bring data prices down by their (GoG) own cable.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Corbin's Household assistants

Investment of the taxpayers continued

See document here

Corbin - Household Assistants
Contents read:

14 October 2009
Ms Paula James
Principal Assistant Secretary – Finance (ag)
Office of the President
New Garden Street
Bourda, Georgetown
Dear Ms James
Refund for Household Assistants – Leader of the Opposition
Please find attached the disbursement receipts Nos. 66381- 66382 and HPS
Ordinary Imprest Vouchers for payment to two (2) senior household assistants for
the month of September 2009 totalling $65,664 (sixty five thousand six hundred
and sixty four dollars).
I would be pleased if the necessary arrangements be made for reimbursement.
Yours sincerely
Robert H O Corbin, MP
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform &
Leader of the Opposition

Monday, March 1, 2010

Great investment for Guyanese Taxpayers - II

Great investment for Guyanese Taxpayers, Part II

We continue our analysis of the great investments that Guyanese taxpayers are proud to make. In the last installment we showed how each taxpayer is investing in the person and assets of the President.

In this second part, we will show how our taxpayers invest in the person and assets of the opposition leader.

We hope that at the right time, we can claim fair share of returns from these persons and their assets.

Unlike the previous paper, this bill must be on the conscience of the Opposition Leader since it is yet to leap off the Order Paper into the debate.

Leader of the Opposition (Benefits and other Facilities) Bill
1. Rent free, furnished office accommodation

2. Medical attention including medical treatment and reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by him for himself and dependent members of his family

3. Full time security at his home

4. Services of a secretary, executive security, chauffeur, gardener and domestic help

5. Vacation allowance applicable to that of the government minster (usually is 2 first class tickets)

More to come.

Berbicians - lots more to come

The picture on the left is a replica of how Berbice was from Sunday 9 am to Monday 5pm.

Calls to the GPL offices explained nothing - they claimed a maintenance that was not 'fixed' properly.

Berbice will continue to enjoy blackout!


Since 1996 Synergy Holdings Incorporated has been ‘working’ to bring the Amaila Hydro Project to life’. Synergy Holdings Inc is owned by overseas-based Guyanese Makeshwar ‘Fip’ Motilall and each year from 1996 Guyanese have been promised that this Hydro Electricity Project will be powered up.

Here is a recap of these promises:
In 2008 Motilall said that the Engineering, procurement and construction bids would have been closed on the 30th October, 2008 and contractors would have been identified shortly with works going into ‘full swing in the 1st quarter of 2009’.

But this laughable position was later given at another forum which was attended by His Excellency President Jagdeo. The bids were pushed back and the investors and the government agreed that giving bidders an extension of time ‘would benefit all concerned’.

What has happened since?
There was talk that Sithe Global Power would have been providing $400 million and there were eager investors waiting to pump money into this.
In 2002 Motilall was quoted as saying that the project could cost $312 and this would be obtained from private financial institutions. (NONE NAMED because NONE CAME FORWARD).

BUT in 2006 here is what we heard, ‘we are STILL AWAITING FINANCIAL CLOSURE FOR THIS PROJECT’.

While there have been talks about the project kicking off in 2010 from 1996 to now there has been a long list of promises and excuses about this project.
This 100 megawatt facility is expected to reduce Guyana’s dependency on fossil fuels. We spend more than 40% of our GDP on Fuel!