Georgetown, Guyana – (September 5, 2018) The Ministry of the Presidency wishes to correct an article carried in the September 5, 2018 edition of the Kaieteur News, which is headlined, “GuySuCo lands will not be sold- Granger assures.” This headline is misleading and at odds with the remarks of President David Granger at the Presidential Press Conference, which was held on August 31, 2018.
A question was posed by Mr. Leonard Gildharie, a Journalist attached to the above mentioned Media house, which was “Sir over the last 18 months you have closed 4 sugar estates and you placed 4 of them under a divestment and privatisation path. Could you say what is happening to GuySuCo at the moment?”
The Head of State emphasised that a State Lands Sales Commission was being established. This Commission, he said, will be tasked with ensuring that there is a rational and transparent disposal of lands, which will no longer fall under the Sugar Corporation.
“Now, as far as the closures are concerned, once an estate has been close, the lands will now be subject to the jurisdiction of, first of all, a State Land Sales Commission, of which the SPU, the Special Purpose Unit under NICIL, will have representation. The idea is that we won’t sell off the family jewels. We’ll make sure that the lands, which are being taken out of sugar, are placed to the benefit of the people of Guyana as a whole. Now, several anomalies and several contradictions may emerge. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture may need some lands in order to settle sugar workers who are interested in settling. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure would need some lands in terms of its highways and bridges. The Ministry of Communities may need some lands in terms of housing and other Ministries may need lands and private citizens may need lands. So, the State Land Sales Commission is meant to reconcile the differences among these various agencies and, at the same time, make a profit from the disposal of those lands, which would not be going back into sugar,” President Granger said.
The Ministry of the Presidency is therefore seeking a correction in the Kaieteur News, to reflect the correct context of the remarks made by the Head of State.