Acceptance of invitation from Agriculture Ministry and GuySuCo

I note in an article (Kaieteur News, Wednesday May 25, 2011) captioned “GuySuCo details US$12.5 expenditure on packaging plant”, statements emanating from Mr. Robert Persaud MBA, Minister of Agriculture and the Guyana Sugar Corporation. Both parties were reacting to a Kaieteur News article of the previous day, in which the newspaper raised questions about the cost of the plant.

I am sure that both the Minister and the Corporation are aware that my contribution to the discussion on the GuySuCo packaging plant was by way of a letter in the SN, of May 17, 2011.

In that letter I corrected President Jagdeo’s exaggerated pronouncement of sugar’s contribution to the GDP as 16% instead of approximately 6%. The focus of my letter was to caution that the packaging plant, welcome though it is, could not be a silver bullet for the serious financial problems of the Corporation.

In that connection I drew attention to the wave of packaging plants taking place across the world and specifically referred to a 300,000 tonnes capacity Plant by Mumias Sugar Company (MSC) with a daily capacity of 700 tonnes and a price tag of US$3M.

I challenge both GuySuCo and the Minister of Agriculture to show either in my letter or anywhere else where I referred to or questioned the cost of the Enmore Packaging Plant.

I note that Mr. Robert Persaud has challenged Kaieteur News and me “to conduct a forensic audit of GuySuCo and the Packaging Plant.” I herby accept this challenge to undertake a professional audit, the cost of which will be borne by Kaieteur News.

I hope this is not just bluff on Mr. Persaud’s part and that he has both the authority and the courage to carry through with his challenge. I now await word from him.

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