Ahmad clears the air on ‘GuySuCo land deal’

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One of the houses already constructed at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
One of the houses already constructed at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Shareef Ahmad, who owns South American Woods Inc, along with his New York-based Guyanese brother, Ed Ahmad has lashed out at members of Alliance For Change (AFC) and Financial Analyst Raymond Gaskin over the issues raised in relation to a land deal.

In his response to an article in one section of the media, Ahmad said he was specifically upset about allegations that he breached the conditions of the land deal and failed to create employment opportunities for the neighborhood.

He pointed out firstly that the land at Leonora, West Coast Demerara was purchased from the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) at a cost of $80M and was vacant for many years. He said, In fact, the sum of $80M was an amount that was above the going price at the time.

“Remember that prior to this agreement; the sale of this land was subject to two earlier bids: in 2003, the highest bid amounted to $30 million, while in 2004, the land was again tendered for bids and none was received. So, the issue that I underpaid for the land was unfounded. It is the other way around; I actually overpaid,” he pointed out.

On a separate note, the businessman pointed out that the issue about a ‘Sweet Heart Deal’ is not only ridiculous but ludicrous.

“The fact I paid US$25,000 per acre for this land, while much more desirable land at Eccles and Providence on the East Bank Demerara was being sold for a mere US$18,000 per acre, suggest that David Patterson didn’t take time to compile his data accurately. He was totally misguided,” a statement noted.

Moreover, Ahmad made it clear that the allegation that he breached the land contract was incorrect.

He explained that in order to build any type of structure including an industrial facility, one is required to file with the local NDC and health department (EPA). “I have done so accordingly with both NDC and EPA. These agencies have conducted their own environmental studies and concluded that such facilities should not be erected. The main reason cited was of the unnecessary noises and pollution to the nearby residential area and schools.”

Ahmad stated too that after his application was denied, he followed the proper procedures by filing necessary papers for the Court to consider the zoning amendments, after which the Court granted the zone change to Residential/Commercial uses.

Ahmad concluded that he remains proud to invest in Guyana and in the Guyanese people.

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