Former Guyana National Co-operative Bank building is privately owned

Dear Editor,

My company, Ramroop’s Investments Inc, is the owner of the property, via transport, located at Lots 1 & 2 Lombard & Cornhill Streets that formerly housed the Head Office of the now defunct Guyana National Cooperative Bank. This property was acquired from Republic Bank Limited in the year 2006. I have observed the regular, if not weekly, clamouring by your columnist Mr Allan Fenty in his column ‘Frankly Speaking’, for government to demolish and convert this property into a “Vendors Mall”. I would like to think and hope that Mr Fenty is ignorant of the fact that this property is transported private property. The flawed calls in his article certainly give false hope and high unrealistic expectations to vendors.

While I certainly am not authorised neither do I profess to speak for or on behalf of government, I am convinced that by calling on the government to convert private property into state property, whether knowingly or unknowingly, which is what is essentially propagated, certainly sends the wrong signal to property owners and investors, especially at a time when mischief-makers and rumourmongers are very active. In addition, persons ignorant of the fact that the said property is privately owned, may view the government as uncaring for failing to heed his heroic calls.

I firmly believe that it would have been prudent for Mr Fenty to establish who the owner/s of this property is prior to making such calls. I am sure you will agree that it is an accepted tenet of professional journalism to enquire, establish and verify prior to printing. As far as              I know, Stabroek News has built      its enviable reputation on accurate, fair and balanced reporting. I            do believe that these writings are contrary to those principles. I hope that being cognizant of the facts now, prominence to the outlined vision for this property and the Stabroek

Square, would be appropriately reflected. I must add that I have unsuccessfully attempted to contact Mr Fenty on a few occasions for the purpose of enlightening him on the subject. My requests to your staff for his number or email address were never granted neither were calls returned.

My company has a unique vision for the redevelopment of this property and the Stabroek area as a whole. Extensive planning is currently in process and considerable amounts of money have been spent in this regard. Our vision and ideas have been communicated to the Government of Guyana and there is a plan of the steps to be taken for the achievement of our objective, which will be fully disclosed at the appropriate time. I am sure that as time goes by, both the city council and government, will try their utmost to accommodate the vendors in an appropriate place. It is my observation, however, that a large portion of the stalls that were constructed for vendors by the Mayor & City Council in the old Donkey Square, remain unoccupied. Perhaps this is an area that can be looked at immediately with a view of having them occupied. It must be pointed out that the Stabroek Square is one that persons traverse by the thousands on a daily basis and can be considered as the hub of Guyana. It is home to our world renowned Stabroek Market and most important Parliament. This is an iconic area and is our equivalent to New York’s famed Times Square and Trinidad’s Brian Lara Promenade. It is in this context that we should all aspire to develop this area. History will not judge us kindly should we settle for mediocrity. I am confident that, like all patriotic Guyanese, you will wish to see the complete transformation of the whole area into one that is luminous, aesthetically pleasing, attractive, inviting and as a result eliminate the confusion, chaos and repulsiveness that is currently prevalent. The transformation will foster a sense of law and order which will allow for the free flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This will reduce the opportunities for petty thieves, pickpockets, snatchers and criminality in general. Our aim is to work with the city council and government for such a transformation to occur for the ultimate benefit of all Guyanese.

Your faithfully,

Oncar Ramroop

Chief Executive Officer

Ramroop’s Investments Inc & P Ramroop & Sons

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