Questions on Vreed-en-Hoop Demerara Shore Base project

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Dear Editor,

There is something fishy or suspicious about that shore base and port facility at the mouth of the Demerara River on the Vreed-en-Hoop side.

There is concern that the state is standing as sovereign guarantor of the loan of US$600 millions to construct the shore base and port facility. Is it true that the engineer companies connected with the project are not confident it is a suitable location? Is it true that they are also worried about the environmental impact of the project – flooding, destruction of homes on the banks of the river, impact on flora and fauna, etc.

If indeed engineering companies are firmly of the view that the project cannot work at that location and the project does not turn out to be successful, the poor people (taxpayers) of the country will be burdened with this US $600 M loan with the state being the guarantor. If it is successful, how would the state benefit since the project is owned by private companies, not the state? How will the state get back its money? Why is the state taking risks for a loan and won’t be the owner of the project of the loan? The private components will be the owners. What measures will be in place to prevent the private concerns to siphon off the loan proceeds thru inflated purchases and services?

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If the project fails, the private concerns would not be responsible for the loan, and as such the state (tax payers) would have to repay it. If the project is successful, the private companies would benefit as they would be owners of the shore base and port and charge the government for usage at usury fees. Successful or failed, the private companies would be winner with the state being losers. Why is the government guaranteeing funding of a project in which the state (the people) is not the owner? Something does not smell well in the new kingdom of Guyana in which one man is making decisions without thorough discussion and consultation with the public. The nation is reminded that several large scale projects failed as a result of this approach.

Yours truly,
Edward Burrowes



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