NICIL boss says GuySuCo divestment halted due to unstable political situation
Divestment of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) remains on pause while Guyana’s political situation remains an unstable one.
National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s (NICIL) has been seeking investors for the closed sugar estates and their assets, but acting Chief Executive Officer Colvin Heath-London said that for now, this is all on pause until political events are resolved.
“In terms of the divestment, we have several investors lined up. But they’re all not going forward until the political situation returns to some normalcy. So, it’s wait-and-see until then.”
He explained that this is the situation with all the estates being divested.
Zeroing in on one of those estates, this publication requested clarity on the status of Wales. In response, Heath-London said private farmers and some former sugar workers have taken up land at Wales for farming.
He also explained that Amazonia Expert Services Limited, the company granted a 20-year lease last year by the Government to cultivate and process coconuts, has started its preparations.
Since closure of the Wales, East Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates, and the firing of thousands of sugar workers, Government had moved to divest the facilities.
United Kingdom (UK) company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was contracted to carrying out valuations of GuySuCo’s assets up for sale, and had invited expressions of interest from potential buyers.
Initially, 10 expressions of interest were received, but only five companies eventually entered bids.
Extra Virgin Coconut Products (EVCP) and Amazonia Expert Services Incorporated (AESI) are the two companies which received 680 acres of land from the estate’s assets. However, just prior to elections in March of this year, former sugar workers were lamenting the fact that they were still waiting on the land grants that the APNU/AFC Administration had promised they would receive to continue their livelihood.
Many sugar workers, throughout this time, have vented their disappointment in the coalition Government for “neglecting” their woes and interests.
Nine young beauties are vying for the inaugural title Miss Skeldon Heritage Resort. The pageant will be staged at the Skeldon Heritage Resort (formerly known as the GUYSUCO sugar estate) on October 5, 2019.
This event will see the young ladies competing in four categories; the intelligence, talent, resort wear, and evening wear as they compete for the coveted crown and several attractive prizes. The theme of the pageant is ‘Diversity’ and this theme was fuelled by the fact that the contestants competing are from diverse backgrounds and races.
The delegates who hail from communities in and around Skeldon have all expressed confidence of doing well, and sparks are set to fly among two sisters who are competing head to head in the pageant.
Coordinator of the pageant, Linden Murray who is the brainchild behind the initiative said that it was over a year ago that he conceptualised the pageant and felt confident that if executed the response would be very good. He disclosed that when a call was made for contestants they were very heartened by the response they received. He said that some of them were unable to go further owing to the limited sponsorship opportunities in the area.
He said that after being entrusted with the management of the resort he decided to use the pageant as a marquee event for the resort.
The contestants include Chovesha Tahal a 22 year old television hostess and marketing agent at Channel 19 TV station, 15 year old Renee France hailing from the Amerindian community of Siparuta, and Ishieka Nowrang, 18 years old and currently works as a cashier at Muchies Fast Food Outlet.
Competing as well is 15 year old India Laljit who is currently a student at Skeldon Line Path Secondary School, Lalita Laljit who is the younger sister of Indira , and 19 year old Natoya Rawlins who is considered among the contestants as one of the two veterans owing to the fact that she has contested in six pageants already and won three of those. Atasha Pantlitz is a 19 year-old and is the other veteran who like Rawlins has competed in six pageants as well. Despite only winning two crowns she is very confident of taking home the inaugural crown.
19 year old Latisha Boyce who is eagerly awaiting competition night to showcase her stuff is currently pursuing studies in her quest to become a Human Resources Officer, That aside, in the lineup also is 16 year old Felicia Reece, a fifth form student at Sheldon Line Path Secondary where she will be writing seven subjects at next year’s CSEC exams.
Meanwhile, the young ladies are being taken through their paces by popular pageant trainer Simeon Burnett who is also a television host of the popular Channel 19 programme in Berbice, Music Mix.
Tickets for the pageant are already on sale at a cost of $1000, while music for the event would be provided by Uprising Sound Systems. It was disclosed that a number of popular artistes and performers will also grace the stage and Berbicians near and far, are guaranteed an exciting experience, come pageant night.
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