Kaieteur news

Kaieteur News continues to spew falsehood on another of the Government’s development project

In what can be described as poor journalism or plain old falsehood, the Kaieteur News is again attempting to mislead the public by insinuating that the Government’s Housing Drive is a profit tool for the Ministry of Housing and Water. The Ministry strongly rebuffs this most recent attack on another project, which seeks to benefit and improve the lives of Guyanese.

In an article dated Wednesday, August 4, 2021, the Kaieteur Newspaper published the following headline “Housing Ministry to now construct and sell houses for profit”. To say the least, this headline reflects poor journalistic skills and at most is grossly inaccurate.

The information shared in the article is grossly distorted and does not fully reflect the information presented by the Minister of Housing and Water, the Hon. Collin Croal, in response to questions, posed to him by Opposition Parliamentarian Annette Ferguson.

Ferguson’s two-part question sought clarity on the $13. 9 B contract for the construction of housing units in Regions 3,4, 5, and 6; the breakdown of the category of persons to benefit and the expected and final cost for the housing units.

In response, the Minister clearly outlined, that persons within the Low, Moderate, Middle, and High brackets will benefit from this initiative.

A breakdown of costing was also provided, and as has been the policy for years under similar housing projects, the cost for the land is included in the final cost.

The units for low-income units carry a final cost of – $5.5 M of which $300,000.00 will go towards the cost for the land, ($5.2 M per unit). The Moderate-Income units will be sold at – $7.5 M of which $300,000.00 for land ($7.2 M per unit cost).

The cost for high- and middle-income units stands at $13.9 M and $19.9 M respectively with the land carrying a cost of $1.5 M each. 

As has been the policy on similar housing projects for the construction of housing, each beneficiary is only required to pay the Ministry of Housing Central Housing and Planning Authority, the cost of the land and the remaining cost is paid to the contractor, through a mortgage scheme with any financial institution of the beneficiary’s choice.

For Kaieteur News to even suggest that the agency is making a profit on these units is preposterous and disingenious,  as the cost for the lands these units are built on are heavily subsidized by the government. If the newspaper is running out of options for sensational clickbait headlines, in hope of generating a profit, they should spend time researching facts and useful information, which will be beneficial to their readers and not mislead them.  All of the government’s programs, including its ambitious housing drive are crafted for the people of this country and are not profit-driven in any way. The contracts for the construction of the 5,000 housing units across Regions, 3,4, 5, and 6 were awarded, using the competitive bidding process by public tender. The Ministry will not be daunted or distracted from its numerous development projects, all of which stand to benefit  Guyanese from all walks of life, and will continue to execute its programs and policies with precision, transparency and equality. 

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CATEGORIES GovernmentPress Releases

TAGS Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA)FalsehoodGovernment of GuyanaGovernment’s development projectGovernment’s Housing DriveKaieteur NewsKaieteur newspaperMinister of Housing and Water Hon. Collin CroalMortgage schemePPP/C government

Sours: https://dpi.gov.gy/kaieteur-news-continues-to-spew-falsehood-on-another-of-the-governments-development-project/

Ministry of Health rejects Kaieteur News headline
The Ministry of Health rejects the assertion carried in blaring headline by Kaieteur News that $100M disappeared from the Ministry of Health.
In addition, one gets the impression that Kaieteur News has revealed a breaking story of an event that has now taken place, according to a statement this evening from the Ministry.
The statement reads:
“ The truth is that the Kaieteur News misrepresented the truth; and blinded by its anti-government crusade, took an event from 1996, 14 years ago, and made it appear as if something sinister happened today.
“The Ministry of Health is convinced that the Kaieteur News deliberately, mischievously and maliciously tried to portray a story that the Ministry of Health misappropriated $100M.
“The truth is far from the impression created by the headline and the story in the newspaper. The Ministry of Health would like to set the records straight.
“The Auditor General made reference to the fact that a Bank Account #946 at the Bank of Guyana had never been reconciled since prior to 1992. This Bank account could not be reconciled since the new Government in 1992 inherited a system in which none of the accounts was reconciled. Without the records prior to 1992, reconciliation was impossible. This situation in 1992 was not unique to the Ministry of Health accounts, but to bank accounts of all Ministries. In spite of great efforts, reconciliation of the accounts after 1992 was impossible without accounting records prior to 1992.
“In 1996, the Government decided to close these accounts in order to ensure that new, active accounts could be continuously reconciled, as required by law and by good accounting practices. This decision was consistent with recommendation by the Auditor General as the only way to resolve the problem.
“The specific account that was the subject of scrutiny by the Public Accounts on Monday June 28th and that was the subject of the Kaieteur News story on June 29th . Bank of Guyana Account # 946, was closed in July 1996. This account was non-operational from that date and was not in use by the Ministry of Health.
“Clearly, the Auditor General pointed this fact out – this was a non-operational account. Since it was a closed, non-operational account, the Ministry of Health could not deposit any money in this account, nor could it have withdrawn any money from this account. In any case, we could not make any payment out of this account because at the time the Ministry of Health closed this account, it had an overdraft of just over $2M.
“The Bank of Guyana debited this account in June 1997, almost one year later, with an amount of $100M. Details of this debit transaction were not provided to the Ministry of Health. This overdraft was highlighted by the Auditor General in his 1997 report.
“Since this matter was highlighted by the publication of the Auditor General Report for 1997, a report that only appeared in the Public Accounts Committee several years later, the Ministry of Health was not in a position to know in 1997 that one of its non-operational account which was closed in July 1996 had an overdraft of over $100M since we had closed it with an overdraft of just over $2M.
“Since brought to our attention by the Auditor General, the Ministry of Health has been working with the Bank of Guyana to determine how this happened.
“Therefore, there is no such an event that $100M disappeared. A transaction which showed a debit entry into a closed account occurred and the legitimacy of this entry must be determined.
“In the last ten years, the Ministry of Health has done an outstanding job in bringing greater accountability to our management of resources appropriated to the Ministry. There are still issues raised by the Auditor General and we continue to work to address these issues.
“It is unfair and downright mischievous for the Kaieteur News to portray this story as one in which a person or persons might have disappeared with $100M from the Ministry of Health. Clearly, this was the picture the Kaieteur News intended the public to believe by its bold headline. No such thing occurred and the Auditor General did not make such a charge. Any fair-minded person could see that the Kaieteur News knowingly attempted to mislead readers.
“It is stories like these and headlines like these that lead people to believe that Kaieteur News is carrying out an anti-government crusade.
“The Ministry of Health rejects the story of the disappearance of $100M from the Ministry. No such an event occurred this year. No such a thing occurred since I have been Minister and I have no indication that such an event occurred at the Ministry of Health before my time”, the statement, signed by Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, concluded.

Sours: https://guyanachronicle.com/2010/06/30/kaieteur-news-deliberately-misrepresented-the-truth/
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Sours: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/

Dear Editor,

THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly disagrees with the Stabroek News article titled, “Payara clause could allow Exxon to flare gas for free”, published on Monday, June 28, 2021, and Kaieteur News article titled, “Gov’t has weakened environmental standards in favour of ExxonMobil”, published on Friday July 02, 2021.
The EPA takes this opportunity to categorically state that flaring for sixty (60) days is only permissible for “Start-up” in both permits. International benchmarking shows that the typical acceptable start-up period for installations of this nature average 90 days; therefore the EPA’s 60-day requirement is much more stringent as it is well below the average international benchmark. As far as the EPA is aware, there was never an agreement to prescribe two (2) days of start-up since this was impossible given the nature of the installations.
Further, it is erroneous to contend that there is “no provision to stop flaring after sixty days” since both permits specifically state: “The Permit Holder shall not exceed sixty (60) days of flaring during Start-up.”

Moreover, there is no “carte blanche” for flaring under ‘Special Circumstances’ either, as the company is required to seek approval from the EPA for any flaring beyond 48 cumulative hours. Routine flaring and venting are also strictly prohibited by both permits.
The EPA maintains and reserves the right to reject any request for flaring made pursuant to these Permits and if an approval is given, the EPA may include such terms and conditions as may be appropriate, including reduced timelines for any proposed flaring events.
Pursuant to Condition 3.17 of the Payara Environmental Permit, the EPA has established a payment for CO2 equivalent emissions as a result of flaring at the rate of USD$30 per tonne of CO2E, consistent with similar mechanisms included in the modified Liza 1 Permit. The institution and applicability of this payment is determinable by the EPA, in consideration of the Polluter Pays Principle. The EPA also reserves the right to increase this rate where any instance of flaring exceeds sixty (60) days. The EPA noted that the Stabroek News article reported that the thirty-six (36) day period approved for flaring under the Liza 1 Modified Environmental Permit had expired. However, the EPA assures the public that at the date of the article’s publication, the approval issued to the company was still in effect. The Modified Permit requires that the payments be made to the EPA within twenty-eight (28) days of the expiration of the approval in order to ensure it is calculated based on the actual volumes as well as sound internationally-recognised methodologies.

To this end, the EPA refutes any allegations that it lacks the requisite capacity and capabilities to perform the necessary calculations. The EPA boasts a wide variety of professionals qualified in environmental management, chemistry, engineering and other pertinent fields, and recruits additional expertise, local and international as necessary. The EPA views the Payara Environmental Permit and the Modified Liza 1 Environmental Permit as marked improvements, particularly in consideration of the more specific flare management conditions that are consistent with industry practice in order to regulate and/or deter periods of flaring. Specifically, the Payara Permit was a major improvement in that it also included provisions for produced water management, cradle to grave waste management, insurance requirements and reporting mechanisms; which were notably absent from the Liza permits.
The EPA wishes to assure the public that it has pursued, and continues to pursue environmental safeguards and deterrent mechanisms to address any prolonged periods of flaring which may pose risks to the environment, consistent with best-practice and international standards.

Yours sincerely,

Environmental Protection Agency

Sours: https://guyanachronicle.com/2021/07/03/epa-responds-to-stabroek-news-and-kaieteur-news/

News kaieteur

Poor understanding of UG’s role in KN Editorial

Dear Editor,
I TRUST that all is well. The Kaieteur News editorial, “UG Needs better Leadership”, published May 04, 2017, [RS2]reflects a poor understanding of the University of Guyana’s role in Guyana’s development and place in the wider world. The University’s mission is to generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge in the service of the community, the nation, and all mankind in an atmosphere of free and critical inquiry (Academic Board 2001). It aims to provide a place for education, learning, and research of the highest university standard in the arts and sciences throughout Guyana. It is a mission and legacy bequeathed to us by our forbearers who had the foresight and wisdom to dream this dream in 1963.

Given this mission, what is the right framework for understanding and analyzing our national university? I humbly submit to the editor, that the guiding principles for a proper analysis of the university’s leadership and trajectory are as follows:

(i) Take a look in the mirror, initial conditions matter[RS3]. One must document and disseminate, with clarity and precision, what was inherited. One ought to ask: What challenges are we facing at our UG? What should UG’s role be in the context of Guyana’s socio-economic and political landscape? What pathways do we take so that UG can play its rightful role in the nation and beyond? A thoughtful observer might have observed the insufficiencies in financial capital and human capital, the lack of management expertise in both of these capital aspects, and the negative impact of these insufficiencies on system efficiency and on the campus’s conditions and morale.

A thoughtful observer might have documented the challenges inherited in the core teaching and research functions at the University. That same thoughtful observer might have noted the number and quality of lecturers; the poor salaries; the issues with timely payment of those salaries; issues related to benefits and class size; the condition of the library; and questions related to the accreditation of the medical and law schools. He or she might have asked where we are now less than a year into the tenure of Dr. Griffith.

(ii) Articulate a clear vision for a 21st century University of Guyana. It is unclear from your reflection that the editor has a vision for the University of Guyana. What does the editor believe the future will bring? What narrative will the University project for the country? What other roles will the University have in the nation? I would direct the editor to the Hamilton Report of 2012, which notes that “The University should undergo a major restructuring programme to make it a high-performance institution.”

I should add that rapidly approaching a high-performance institution is a national imperative given the current socio-economic and political landscape of Guyana and the demographic, economic, social-cultural, political, security and sovereignty, education and health challenges that face the nation. A thoughtful observer would frame the actions of Dr. Griffith through these lenses.

(iii) Target high, value-added endeavours. Education of the highest quality is an existential matter in the 21st century. We can do fundamental research at a global level. I note for the record that in a nation of less than 800,000 that this is our competitive advantage. Our people, many graduates of the University of Guyana, serve across the globe in the modern knowledge economy. We need to apply those talents at home. [RS4]The current challenges in the sugar industry provide a proper test case—we must diversify and innovate and move up the sugar food chain, or we will die. The editor and this editorial do not serve the University and country well. They ask the wrong questions.

I close by noting the following:
Guyana’s population is 735,000. Forty nine per cent (49%) of her citizens are below the age of 24. An estimated 33% of her citizens live in poverty. Over 80% of her citizens with tertiary education have emigrated. GDP composition, by sector of origin: Agriculture: 21.8% (esp. sugarcane, rice, shrimp, fish), Industry: 25.3% (bauxite, sugar, rice, timber, gold), Services: 52.9%. With the discovery of oil and its expected “boon” in a few years, what role will the University of Guyana play in economic growth?

I submit Dr. Griffith’s vision of UG serves to facilitate educational and economic development—for citizens and society—fosters dreaming and changing personal and societal realities, moves Guyanese beyond being to becoming, enables discovery in all relevant fields. He offers Guyana a university which serves as an agent of change, a platform for Guyanese to explore myriad opportunities. The University of Guyana can be a stimulus for innovation in the 21st century, an existential investment for the nation. UG does not exist as a private business; it is an instrument of the nation.

We need to make the called-for investments. Sir Shridath Ramphal reminded us at the Commonwealth Education Conference in Sri Lanka in August 1980, “We have learned that education, when it is not geared to the needs of real development, and when it is not accompanied by progress in other spheres, can lead more to despair than to development, more to frustration than to fulfillment, and more to social tension than to social advance.”

Regards
Terrence Blackman, Dean
School of Science, Health & Technology
Medgar Evers College, City University of New York

Article adapted from: https://guyanachronicle.com/2017/05/06/kn-editorial-reflects-poor-understanding-of-ugs-role


Sours: https://www.uog.edu.gy/tags/kaieteur-news

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She then invited Vika and the six of us, with Sasha's parents, famously washed our diplomas. Now Vika was already much more supportive and we spent a great night as a four of us in her house. It turned out even a. Little funny.



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