April 27, 2017

A guideline for Minister Gaskin

Dear Editor,

The recent article “No guidelines in place to avoid abuse – Gaskin” illustrates a lot of the problems that the Coalition Government has gotten itself and Guyana into with the fantasies it promulgated to the public about billions of dollars of corruption in the way Guyana had been grown and developed and jobs created during the twenty-three years of PPP/C in office.

Minister Gaskin recognizes an important role for “Public-Private-Partnerships” but laments that there are no guidelines to avoid abuse.

Were it not for he and his Government’s propaganda abuse of the PPP/C Administration, he might have recognized guidelines, concerns and achievements in three P-P-P projects: the fully completed Berbice River Bridge, the not fully complete Marriott Hotel, and the ready-to-go Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project which they vetoed.

If the Minister and his colleagues were to give themselves to earnest study, rather than having their imaginations run amok in fantasies of corruption, they could learn a lot, including the important essential role of the much aligned Mr W. Brassington and PU/NICIL in the growth and development which we managed to achieve.

PU/NICIL continually sought to find ways to put together old, unused, no longer profitable Government-owned properties and other resources (including people -released past employees) with other non-government resources − money, new technologies and capabilities, expert and experienced persons, markets — to create a new enterprise that has a great likelihood to pay its way.

Yes, not everything turns out right/successful. Indeed, I read that it would be a good score when 10 out of every 100 projects, initially earnestly pursued, studied, reappraised, and reconsidered in stages in greater and greater depth to eventual implementation, were to be successful.

Yes, knowledge of what we should know is never complete. We try to minimize personal judgments. In any case, no one knows how things would be in the future.

Minister Gaskin and his colleagues have tied their own hands in their fantasy charges of billions of dollars of annual corruption against us, PPP/C. There is an old Guyanese proverb that says, “Little pig ask mama pig how come she mouth so long, and mama pig replied, ‘You will find out’.”

Minster Gaskin and his colleagues are finding out that they could get little done without opening themselves to the same fantasy charges with which they have been smearing us. They have paralyzed themselves, the private sector – local, diaspora and foreign, and our economy. It is for them to free themselves and our economy, and in doing so, ensure that there are no actions that present real charges of corruption. They have not been doing so well.

Yours truly,

Samuel A A Hinds

Former Prime Minister and Former President