PM appoints new board to Mahdia Power Company

-urges firm action against defaulting customers  

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds appointed a 10-member Board of Directors to the Mahdia Power and Light (MPL) at a meeting held on Friday in the boardroom of the Region Eight NDC.

According to a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) several of the board members were drawn from the local mining community. David Adams was appointed Chair-man of the Board, while Head of the HEP, Horace Williams was tasked with responsibility at the Central Government level for the electricity operations in Mahdia, Lethem and Port Kaituma. The other Board members comprise Collette Adams, Punaram Chanderban, Bernice Nichols, Manuel Fraser, Louise Armstrong, Rev. Aubrey Skeete, Banaventura Fredericks, Parasram and Sewdat Singh.

After the new Board had received their appointment letters, the prime minister discussed MPL’s performance over the past year. According to Hinds, central government had injected $200M into the power company and it was subsequently required to fund its operations from revenues collected for services provided to residents.

“When we came into Government the electricity situation was at a sad state, as there was evidence of under-investment, which has seen the corporation’s state of affairs at a poor level. We have since been working to improve this and to extend electrification to areas across Guyana which hadn’t any,” he said.

Since then, government investment has seen an increase of consumers on the grid from 70,000 in 1992, to 165,000. Thousands of residents have come on the grid through the Hinterland Electrification programme (HEP), a Government of Guyana/Inter-American Development Bank programme that saw a number of photovoltaic solar home systems being installed in several Amerindian communities.

“When we look at many of the developed countries, one would say they have a much better life than ours. However, that investment came about from years of investment and collaboration from all its people…we have a country to build and collectively much can be derived if we work together,” he said. The funds to invest in MPL were sourced from general taxes… “our position is we have put it in, and it carries no charge, however, everything else will have to be paid for, so we expect that the Mahdia Power and Light (MPL) would maintain its operations and also steadily improve its situation,” he said.

Hinds also told the board that accessing technical advice is necessary for its smooth running and he urged Board members to work with the Guyana Power and Light which is also responsible for expertise sharing and training. Hundreds of workers have been trained countrywide and shortly 66 operators and linesmen will be trained at GPL’s Training School. Hinds also encouraged the Board to utilise the skills of local persons when it starts to fill posts in human resources.

Newly appointed chairman Adams, reviewing the operations of the company, pointed to several factors which have affected its performance including high cost of fuel and oil, untimely delivery of fuel and difficulty in sourcing skilled operators. “Thus far, while some losses were recorded, power generation and distribution at MPL was good thus far….however, this year, works will be intensified to rectify some of the shortcomings which have existed over the past year,” he said.

According to the report, MPL was projected to have service lines extended to Campbelltown and Seven Miles Scheme. As residents continue to respond to the service, it aims to distribute an additional 600 service meters, in addition to the 468 which had been distributed over the last seven months.

The prime minister made a call for the company to manage its affairs in a more conducive manner, and committed to sourcing another engine to complement those available. However, he encouraged the new Board to be stern with delinquent consumers who are reluctant to pay outstanding arrears.

More in Local News

Bharrat Jagdeo

Jagdeo stands by NY statements

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo last night stood by statements he had made in New York about discrimination against Indo-Guyanese which the APNU+AFC government has described as race-baiting.

City Hall

Despite higher revenue, city still faces deficit

City Hall amassed a whopping $1.29 billion in revenue for the first six months of the year but continues to operate at a deficit and some city councillors are frustrated at their inability to access detailed information on the city’s expenditure.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the audience 
 

Gov’t condemns Jagdeo for race baiting

The Government of Guyana (GoG) yesterday condemned Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo for “race baiting,” after he claimed that there is “an assault on people of Indian origin” during a speech at an event in New York recently.

Commander of ‘B’ Division Ian Amsterdam (second, right) meeting with Pawan Chandradeo’s wife and children

City detectives to assist in Berbice triple murder probe

The police are continuing to work all angles and a number of theories in order to solve last week’s triple murder at Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said yesterday that a team from the force’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) was expected to head to the area to lend assistance in the investigation.

default placeholder

Appointment of new foreign envoys based on merit, not patronage – Granger

The appointment of new foreign mission heads was based on merit and was not a form of reward, President David Granger said last evening even as he called on them to put the border controversy with Venezuela on the front burner.

The roof of Nand Persaud International Communications Inc at Tain covered with solar panels

Nand Persaud Company set to unveil huge solar project in Berbice

Local business group Nand Persaud and Company Limited will shortly unveil what is said to be the largest solar energy project in the country to date with 220 kilowatts of energy expected to be generated to power the group’s call centre at Tain, Corentyne.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: