Dear Editor,Stabroek News’ Sunday article on the sale of land to Scady contains a number of inaccuracies. One major inaccuracy related to attributing a footnote in my report (attached for ease of reference) dealing with the sale of the Scady land, when the footnote related to the sale of the land to GBTI for their banking headquarters. Pages 34 and 38 of my report (transaction #66) deal with the Scady transaction.The reporter erroneously treated footnote #66 shown on page 43, as relating to the Scady property sale. My report clearly references this footnote to Transaction #63, “Sale of Tract A, Young Street ”. This land was sold to GBTI for their headquarters based on a public tender. Interesting enough, the tendered value and sale price of $201 million is less than 50% of the private valuation from Mr Rodriques.GBTI has spent billions of dollars to develop the approximately three acres of land acquired, contributing in no small way to the improvement of the landscape. And while Scady has not yet developed the land acquired, although detailed designs have been completed, at least US$150 million has been invested in the Berbice bauxite industry since 2004 as a result of RUSAL’s involvement. In fact, RUSAL helped to save the Berbice bauxite industry and almost 1000 direct and indirect jobs. At least at the time of the sale in 2008, I can also say that the sale price per acre of the land sold to RUSAL’s principal shareholder is the highest sale price/acre for underdeveloped land on the East Coast that I am familiar with. Part of the confusion on prices that the reporter make reference to related to the budgeted cost of an access bridge to access the land from the public road, a set-off against the G$150 million sale price in accordance with the Cabinet decision of Sept 2008 (10 years ago). The bridge cost will now be borne by the land owner in addition to all of the infrastructure to develop the land.If one peruses the 860-page report titled “Privatisation in Tables – Phase II”, there are literally hundreds of transactions completed during the period 1993 to 2012. I joined the Privatisation Unit in 1994 and served for over 21 years. Many of our transactions look at multiple development considerations.From 1993, large areas of vacant land have been developed. Take Liliendaal/Turkeyen for example. From the Caricom Headquarters, the Convention Centre, the 100 acres of backland sold to NHL that is now witnessing billions of dollars of investment for residential construction, the GPL substation project, the Amerindian Hostel, the Giftland Mall, the Aquatic Centre, and the US$30 million-plus Movietowne currently underway, to name a few. GuySuCo also sold many pieces of land for housing east and south of the Giftland Mall. Projects that did not proceed included the Lakeview Hotel, the Sand and Sun hotel, and the Specialty Hospital. But for the most part, significant development occurred.Large tracts of undeveloped land have been improved, creating jobs and significant investment. And while price was one consideration, economic development was important. Investment created jobs, income and taxes. I recall that in the last 25 years, over 200,000 house lots were allocated by the Ministry of Housing, at relatively low prices. Government spent initial sums to develop roads and bridges; water and electricity followed later. In more modern developments, bridges, roads, concrete drainage, water, electricity, parks, street lighting, are all borne by the developer, before the lots are sold. At GPL, I recall that over a 10-year period, the number of customers rose from 125,000 to 175,000, in no small part, from the significant investment being made by GPL (with financing from the IDB/Government), to install electricity for unserved areas. Today, home ownership is at a record level in the history of Guyana, resulting in a significant middle class and considerable economic growth. And development did not stop at price. The Eccles and Coldigen industrial estates, where plots were leased at G$1/square foot/annum, were focused on investment and jobs (see pages 77 to 84 of the Privatisation in Tables report for a list of all the companies that benefited). The peppercorn rent had nothing to do with the valuation. Today, as one flies over Eccles and Diamond, one can only marvel at the vast expanse of development that occurred in the last 25 years. Much work and effort, however, went into creating this expansion.Sincerely,Winston Brassington
A post mortem conducted on the lifeless body of 54- year-old Andrew Parks, who died on Wednesday after a log fell on him, proved that the miner died as a result of blunt trauma to the head and leg.The autopsy was conducted on Friday by Government Pathologist Doctor Nehaul Singh at the Georgetown Public Hospital Mortuary.Parks, of Powis Crescent, Amelia’s Ward, Mackenzie, Linden, was on Wednesday crushed by a fallen log at his place of employment, Old England Mines, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).Reports are that Parks was at his workplace, Ping Logging Company, when a large log reportedly fell from a log loader machine which was being operated by one of his colleagues at the time.The logger sustained injuries and was picked up and taken to the Linden Hospital Complex, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The other employee involved in the incident, a 33-year-old resident of Coomacka Mines, Region 10, was taken into Police custody.
It’s that time again to submit your music for RocKIN the Peace 2009. This year you’ve got even more time to come with up with your own original music of any format and submit it to see if you can win this year’s grand prize. You can submit any type of music that you’d like…the only catch is…it must be an original tune. You must submit your music (up to 3 songs) on CD to Moose FM by March 7th, 2009. Get more details and the official entry form below or by visiting Moose FM at 10423 101 Ave. You can also visit the official site at www.rockinthepeace.com – Advertisement -After March 7th, 2009 judges from the community will pick the top 10 songs. Those songs will be put on the 2009 RocKIN the Peace CD. That CD will be sold all around the BC Peace. Plus those 10 artists/groups will perform at the RocKIN the Peace Concert at the NPCC. There you will have the final say as to who wins the grand prize. RocKIN the Peace is brought to by the Kin Club of Fort St. John and Moose FM.
Brazil will hope their quadrat of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Willian arrive in some fashion at the FIFA World Cup 2018 when they face the counter-attacking threat of Mexico at the Samara Arena on Monday.Coutinho and Tite’s tactics have been the shining light for Brazil in what has been an underwhelming performance otherwise. However, if their match against Serbia is anything to go by, Brazil are getting better by the day.After their 1-1 draw against Switzerland, where they dazzled in the first half only to lose that spark in the second half, Brazil registered a fighting 2-0 win over Costa Rica.Even as the 2-0 scoreline sounds comfortable, it was far from it. Two goals in the stoppage time was what Brazil required to get past Costa Rica.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEIn the final group game though, Neymar and Willian stepped up their game, looked much sharper and better as Brazil book their last 16 spot with a comfortable win.Neymar’s PSG teammates Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani have set the Round of 16 to fire with their sensational performances and Brazil captain Thiago Silva is hoping that it rubs off on Neymar too.”We hope tomorrow will be a great day and that Neymar is inspired as much as the other players,” said Silva, who also plays for Paris Saint-Germain.Neymar drew concern early in the tournament because of what appeared to be a right ankle injury following Brazil’s opener. He was fouled 10 times during the match and later was seen limping after practice before the team’s second match against Costa Rica, but the team said it was only a precaution.advertisementThe Brazilian soccer confederation has said Neymar’s ankle problem had nothing to do with the foot injury that sidelined him for about three months earlier this year. Brazil coach Tite said before the tournament started that Neymar wouldn’t likely be fully fit until the third match of the group stage. It’s now time for the knockout rounds.”He’s resumed his top performance,” Tite said.”The idea is that things are going to improve. This is the fourth match. I think this team is well prepared,” Silva said Sunday. “We have to face this match with a lot of focus and a lot of determination. I think the coach has given us the tools.”Brazil, who have won five World Cup titles, have advanced out of the group stage in the last 13 tournaments. The team has made the quarter-finals six straight times.The last time that Brazil lost in the round of 16 was back in 1990, a 1-0 loss to Argentina in Italy.MEXICO LOOK FOR ANOTHER PIECE OF HISTORY FIFA World Cup 2018: Mexico are eyeing their first quarter-final since 1986. (Reuters Photo)Mexico have already made history in Russia, beating defending champion Germany 1-0 in the group opener. It was Mexico’s first victory over the Germans in a competitive match – and first in any game since 1985. The loss would later figure in Germany’s elimination in Russia.A victory over Brazil would give Mexico their first knockout-round victory since 1986. Mexico have put their focus on the “quinto partido,” or fifth game, which means the fifth game (quarter-finals).Four years ago in Brazil, the teams played to a scoreless draw in their group. Brazil had won the three previous World Cup meetings over Mexico.Mexico’s last victory over Brazil came in 2012 in a friendly match at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. El Tri memorably won the match 2-0 before a crowd of more than 84,000 fans.Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was asked about whether the team was concerned about Neymar’s reputation earlier in the tournament – deserved or not – for flopping. There was a lot of chatter on social media about Neymar’s alleged diving, and a pub back home in Brazil even offered free drinks each time he fell against Serbia.”I will not discriminate or criticize someone,” Osorio said. “He is a great player, and tomorrow the referee will be in charge. I hope it’s a fair game.”INJURY AND SUSPENSIONS FIFA World Cup 2018: Marcelo will not be available for Brazil vs Mexico due to back injury. (Reuters Photo)Mexico will be without defender Hector Moreno because of yellow card accumulation, while Brazil could be missing several players because of a spate of injuries.Tite has confirmed that Danilo, who suffered a hip injury, was available for the match against Mexico but Marcelo will not be.Marcelo had a back injury sustained against Serbia.”We are not going to pay the price with health,” Tite said.advertisementWinger Douglas Costa, who plays for Juventus, continues to recover from a right thigh injury he sustained in the group stage and will not play against Mexico. But he could return if the team advances to the quarterfinals.(With AP inputs)