The GGMC in its halcyon days never attracted the public’s attention as has happened since its absorption within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
What seems to be unearthing, apart from gold and diamonds, includes the dissatisfaction expressed publicly by some miners, through the GGDMA; the plaints of the counterpart Guyana Women Miners Organization in relation to trafficking in persons; and the historic strike in which uniquely one section of the union bargained with its other section for pay increases from which all will benefit. And if the culmination of an agreement could be acclaimed as a signal achievement, since as usual the argument surrounded the ability of the employer to pay, the event was certainly overshadowed by the untimely news that GGMC’s coffers were made available to, of all non-mining activities, housing – in the form of the Central Housing and Planning Authority – a decision that must surely have bypassed a Board of limpid decision-makers, several of whom would not have studied the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Act, to comprehend its authority as a whole, particularly in relation to its financial transactions, and vis-à-vis that of the Minister.
How does one play the role of banker to an individual or institution without being satisfied that there is genuine need for the financial assistance being sought? How does one establish the viability of the borrower involved? Surely the process demands some credible evidence of the prudent management of the institution, in this case in the past, in order to be convinced of assurances of ability to repay as scheduled in the future.
It would have been reassuring to the public therefore if indicators were provided that the financial status of the institution in question was duly examined by the Auditor General who would then make available to the undiscerning Board evidence to inform the right decision, assuming of course that the latter was at all involved in the transaction. In that regard the signatories to such a legal document in respect of such a large sum between two local institutions would be a matter of public interest.
In the process one would have learnt of the huge profit the CH&PA must have made in its transactions, as advertised of its success in “Guyana Blooms,” that it is driven to further success at the expense of the mining sector which has just emerged from a strike the cost of which is yet to be counted.
In the meantime some over-imaginative taxi drivers wondered if GuySuCo’s recent threat to sell off more estate lands may be in any way coincidental to the CH&PA urgent needs?
Come to think of it CH&PA could take the imaginative initiative to provide housing in the mining hinterland.
E B John