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Harmon denies earmarking of hangar to BK International; confirms board shelved earlier decision due to expansion

The Guyana government Thursday categorically denied that the Ministry of the Presidency had ordered the transfer of a government-owned hangar to BK International but confirmed that the new Board of Directors of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) shelved a previous decision to do so because of expansion works at the airport.

“The new Board of Directors would have looked at the proposal… it was placed on hold because we have the expansion of that airport taking place and we realised that some of the operators had to be relocated… we would have had to find a temporary location for them to operate and the hangar is one of the considerations so that as we speak is actively being pursued,” CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency.

Mr. Ghir added to this that subsequently, with the change in Government and the appointment of a new Board of Directors, the proposal was once again considered but it has been since deferred.

A well-placed source on the Board of Directors could not say where the original decision was made to hand over the hangar to BK International, but said it was shelved to allow other entities such as Camex and New Timehri Handling Services to shift their locations to the hangar to facilitate the expansion.

The Ministry of the Presidency’s statement said Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, has categorically denied that anyone from the Ministry of the Presidency has at any time “ordered the CJIAC [Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation] to transfer the GA2000 hangar to BK International” as reported by the online news outlet, Demerara Waves.

The Minister said that no such instruction was given and went on to say that CJIAC and its Board come under the direct authority of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure as has always been the case.  He called the report ‘wicked and malicious’ and designed to ‘feed the frenzy about his connection to Mr. Brian Tiwarie’.

The Minister responded to the unsubstantiated accusation in and invited comment and his position was supported by Ghir, who told the Ministry of the Presidency that BK International Incorporated had, during the life of the previous Board of Directors, submitted a proposal for rental of the GA2000 hangar.

He further stated, that though the Board had favourably considered the proposal, during a meeting, no decision was communicated to Mr. Brian Tiwarie or his company.  According to Board papers, which the Ministry of the Presidency has seen, in September 2014, the Board of Directors of CJIAC approved the Rental of the GA 2000 Hanger for a period of six months to BK International Incorporated.  However, the contract for this approval was never executed. Therefore, there is no agreement for BK International Incorporated to rent the GA 2000 Hanger.

The CEO went on to say that he had spoken with Mr. Dennis Chabrol of Demerara Waves via a telephone call and indicated that Mr. Tiwarie had not been officially granted the use of the hangar, either by rental or for purchase and that he was one of several operators who had expressed an interest in using the facility.

When asked directly, whether he had ever received any instruction from anyone at the Ministry regarding this matter, Mr. Ghir declared, “No, I have never had any such instruction from anybody. At no time was any instruction received from Ministry of the Presidency to transfer GA 2000 Hanger to BK International Incorporated”.

The Ministry of the Presidency said it was extremely concerned that in the rush to publish sensational stories media outlets are not exercising due diligence and this is irresponsible and can be perceived as malicious when it is not supported by fact.

  • Gtloyal

    Now everything bad is this minister. It may be unfair but then, when you go to crab dance you does get mud.

  • ExPat123

    I know this comment won’t get published just like my last one, but I’ll send it anyways. Don’t you guys have journalistic responsibility to vet stories before publishing them? It seems pretty lost on me how you published a story without any credible sources, such as the CEO of the CJIA. You just lost one.