Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder told reporters on Thursday that Cabinet is still continuing deliberations on the appointment of a Board of Directors for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) while adding that new names are being looked at.
“Well we’re discussing. We’re discussing names. Couple names. We are discussing couple names,” he said.
Of recent, there have been reports of an apparent tug-a-war within the Coalition over the sugar industry, which is now under the control of a Special Purpose Unit (SPU) that was created under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) for the divestment process.
In fact, last month NICIL published the names of the new board in an advertisement but State Minister Joseph Harmon shortly after said that there were some issues with regards to the timing of the publication and that Cabinet was reviewing the matter.
According to the advertisement which placed in the local dailies on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the new Board was approved by Cabinet on February 26, 2018 and the appointments took effect on March 1.
Reports have since surfaced about disagreements allegedly between Ministers from the two coalition parties regarding the chairmanship and members of the GuySuCo Board.
However, Minister Holder today brushed aside those reports of an apparent power struggle, saying his ministry is constitutionally responsible for the sugar industry.
“The Corporation is totally and solely on the Government of Guyana. The Ministry of Agriculture answers to Parliament for what happens in GuySuCo and I am accountable to this Nation for its activities. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture should have responsibility for GuySuCo, therefore the Ministry of Agriculture will appoint a board,” he explained.
The Agriculture Minister went onto outline that NICIL is a creature of the Government and thus carries out instructions from the Executive.
“NICIL is a creature of the Government. NICIL is a holding company . It holds the shares for GuySuCo, it holds the shares for GuyOIL, it holds the shares for GPL. It’s a holding company. It is not a Government and therefore carries out instructions of the Government…perhaps someone didn’t tell NICIL their role,” he said.