New GuySuCo Board approved, John Dow is Chair – Harmon

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

John Dow, who has a background in Agriculture, has been appointed the Chairman of the new Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Board.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon noted during a Post Cabinet press briefing on Monday that the appointment of the Board will be for a period of two years and will expire on August 31, 2020.

He also said that, in addition to the other members identified, CEO of the company Dr Harold Davis Jr will sit on the Board as an ex-officio member.

The move by Government to have a new Board in place comes after it would have faced considerable flack from various stakeholders for its indecisiveness as it regards the setting up of the Board and GuySuCo in general.

Just recently the Union body representing sugar workers, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), called out Government over the “shifting goalpost” with regards to the establishment of a new Board.

Late last April, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder revealed that Cabinet was looking at some new names for the new Board as the life of the old Board expired on February 14, 2018.

A full-page ad had detailed that the new Board was approved by Cabinet on February 26, 2018.

The new Board, which was named with Special Purpose Unit (SPU) Head Colvin Heath-London as the head was gazetted at the Deeds and Commercial Registry.

However, Harmon had said the same day that there were some issues with regard to the timing of the ad and Cabinet was reviewing the matter.

Reports had surfaced about disagreements allegedly between Ministers from the two coalition parties regarding the Chairmanship and members of the GuySuCo Board.

Among other things, GAWU had said that it was “at a loss for the protracted delay in the appointment of the Board especially at a time when the Corporation requires decisive and competent leadership. At this time, when the Corporation has secured a $30B bond financing package aimed at turning the industry around the absence of a capable Board is especially disturbing,” the Union said, while noting that based on their information, “no plan has been presented that will guide the expenditure of this significant sum which has to be repaid with interest.”

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