September 28, 2016

Another case of political discrimination

Dear Editor,

Managing Director of the Guyana Oil Company Limited (Guyoil), Badrie Persaud, last week was unceremoniously dismissed from his position. This constitutes another act of racial and political discrimination.

As Mr Persaud mentioned in an invited comment to another section of the media, he was not even given a copy of the Auditors’ Report to comment on any charge against him; clearly, that was the fig leaf in his dismissal.

Badrie Persaud did an excellent job during the 10 years he led the company.

When he took over in 2006, Guyoil’s annual revenue was in the vicinity of $20 billion. When he was sent on leave in 2015, annual revenue was close to $50 billion – a huge increase by any standard.

He improved the infrastructure of the company tremendously; the stations he inherited were all upgraded to modern facilities and were rated among the best in the country.

Under his leadership, new stations were built at Diamond, Palmyra and Heathburn. Moreover, the company’s wharves in the Demerara and Berbice Rivers were totally rehabilitated/strengthened to concrete structures.

Mr Persaud also diversified Guyoil into other areas of development, moving in pace with the country’s developmental process.

The company started supplying aviation fuel. In so doing, the monopoly held by Rubis was broken, creating a more competitive market and in the process bringing the cost of the fuel down. The result was cheaper costs for airlines.

This enabled more flights to enter and leave Guyana, since fuel is the main determining factor in the cost of travel for tourists and other travellers.

This was an important service to assist the country to develop the tourism sector. Together with the Marriott, the planned Specialty Hospital and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion project, it formed the firm foundation for more tourist arrivals.

Badrie Persaud’s management saw Guyoil growing from strength to strength. When he took over, the daily bank balance was $0.5 billion (half a billion dollars). When he left the company, it was $7 billion.

He also cleared bad debts the company had incurred and when he was forced to leave, no debts were outstanding.

His stint as Managing Director was really outstanding. He performed a great service to this nation and distinguished himself as a top-class manager.

This is how the PNC-led Government rewards success.

On the basis of his outstanding performance, he should never have been dismissed.

The motive for dismissing Badrie Persaud could only be explained by the previous actions of the Government. Clearly, it is racial and political discrimination.

Sincerely,

Donald Ramotar

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