It is no secret that the technology used in this project is the first of its kind in this region and no one expected this transition to be smooth and trouble free. With Skeldon being the largest sugar factory in Guyana it is a fact that a larger percentage of production will be expected and because of its peculiar challenges, including external factors production has not been as expected. However, it is public knowledge the intense effort which has been ongoing including collaborative engagements with overseas experts all geared towards improving production at Skeldon and a timeline of 2012 has been identified whereby such targets will be achieved. It is perplexing that some organizations now feign ignorance of the efforts underway to address the challenges at Skeldon, when a Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economics team comprising of both Government and Opposition members had a detailed inspection of the facility on April 29 2010 and none other than the late PNC/R Chairman Winston Murray had praised the intense efforts to address the issues at the facility.
Regarding the issue of transparency, one must recalls that throughout the nationalization period of the industry, certain management practices had to be observed in keeping with the state of ownership of the industry. More particularly since 1992 enhanced public accountability and financial probity preoccupied the attention of policy makers as well as management. Hence, all major contracts concerning the industry have been awarded under the strict rules and procedures governing the award of such contracts. The last two major contracts undertaken by the Corporation that is the Skeldon Sugar Modernization Project and the Enmore Packaging Plant have both been awarded by GuySuCo in strict adherence to the tender procedures. We therefore categorically reject any assertions by the APNU/AFC political grouping that the engineering firms which were selected to undertake these projects have been selected based on any other consideration whatsoever. Their citations and fulminations inaccurately reflect the reality facing the industry and would appear that this grouping is hoping to score cheap political points at the expense of the industry based on distortions and misleading information.
GuySuCo would like to reiterate its position that it will continue to follow laid down procedures in the award of future contracts in its usual open and transparent manner. It is also interesting to note that it is this same APNU/AFC grouping which has maintained a steadfast opposition to Government investments in the industry over the past few years while a section has publicly articulated its plans to dismantle the sugar industry in Guyana. We therefore will not countenance innuendos, speculation and misleading information which have been publicly aired by the APNU/AFC. We do not intend to be caught up in any political debate with political parties, some of which clearly demonstrate sinister motives.