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GuySuCo denies withholding information from NICIL on spending GYD$30 billion

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) on Tuesday denied accusations that it has not been accounting for more than GYD$7 billion disbursed from a GYD$30 billion bond, and insisted that it does not have to report to government’s holding company for state assets.

GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Harold Davis Jr., in an initial reaction pending a comprehensive response to claims by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), said proof of previous and planned expenditure accompanies each request for disbursement. “As regards the bond, GuySuCo did provide information on the use of the funds because every time we ask for an allocation, we indicate where those monies went and we have invited them, if they wanted any more details, they could have gone for audited statements,” Davis told Demerara Waves Online News.

Contrary to claims by Head of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London, Davis said the trustees have not found any breaches in the deal for the GYD$30 billion. The GuySuCo boss said he has not been interacting with the bondholders that include the National Insurance Scheme and Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry so he could not state what were their views.

“The bondholders have not been in touch with us. We have been in touch with the trustees of the bond, privately, and they advise us that it’s not so…We have provided what we think is adequate information for any reasonable financier to access what it is that they want. Our accounts are audited,” he said.

Heath-London on Wednesday charged that the bondholders were “unhappy” with the limited or no information that GuySuCo has been providing, but the CEO was quick to point out that there are audited statements and that the Corporation does not report to NICIL but to a Board of Directors. “GuySuCo is not accountable to NICIL. We’re a separate company,” he said.

He said so far monies are being largely spent on salaries, tractors and other machinery, and rehabilitating infrastructure such as roads and bridges to help revive GuySuCo to profitability after years of neglect and disrepair. Plans include resuscitating the estates, retooling factories, fixing field infrastructure, and acquiring equipment to execute its agriculture programme. Davis said plans for electricity co-generation were part of GuySuCo’s plans, but “it is no sense in doing these projects until you can ensure that you can provide the plants with raw materials”. GuySuCo’s three-year plan, he said, was in keeping with its cash-flow that was shared with government and NICIL.

The CEO said the ailing sugar corporation could not be expected to make a turnaround in one year since the spending of GYD$7.4 billion so far between July, 2018 and April, 2019. “As you are well aware, GuySuCo has been meeting its targets but we are far from where we want to be ultimately. You are not going to return to full viability,” the CEO said.

He slammed NICIL’s Head for the charges laid against GuySuCo. “I regard those allegations very seriously and it’s essentially defamation of our business and the characters of those business.”