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GuySuco’s CEO fired; Board asked to resign

Raj Singh.

by Zena Henry

The Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Industry (GuySuCo) Dr. Rajendra Singh was on Wednesday June 3 dismissed from his post, while the industry’s Board of Directors has been directed to resign for its poor management of the ailing sugar industry.

Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder told Demerara Waves today that Cabinet took a decision Tuesday 2 that the CEO must go as the new government would not accept the poor performance of the CEO or the current board of directors.

He made it absolutely clear that the CEO was “dismissed” based on his performance. He said that the industry has been declining for years. “Last year they wanted $6B bailout, this year they want $16B; in all fairness that really is not on the cards. There is no way this government is going to give any money to an industry in the hands of that type of management.”

He said there is no question now that the government wants to save the sugar industry hence a Commission of Inquiry into the sector and the decision to be taken about the money needed to keep GuySuCo afloat until year end.

The Minister said the aim now is to ensure that the industry returns to its viability as a profit-making industry. Meanwhile, an Interim Management Committee is being set up to manage GuySuCo’s affairs. The Minister said that those to sit on the committee are still being considered.

A government release said that GuySuCo has been suffering increased losses over the years. In 2014, the sugar corporation received a $6 Billion bailout. For this year, the corporation has requested a $16 Billion bailout package.

“On the directive of Cabinet, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder issued the letter of dismissal to Dr. Singh and it takes immediate effect.”

In addition, members of GuySuCo’s Directors have been instructed to send in ketters of resignation with immediate effect. The IMC, it was noted will take effect from June 4 and will oversee the corporation for six months.

“Before the end of this month, the Government will establish a Commission of Inquiry to look in to the operations of GuySuCo and chart a way forward.” The Government also sought to assure workers of GuySuCo that “they will be paid and there will be no closing of the Sugar Corporation.”

Singh, the former CEO, was hardly vocal on his response to his dismissal. When asked about receiving the dismissal letter he said, “No, ask the Minister.”