My close friends tell me that Mansoor
Nadir is a non entity and that when I speak about him, no matter how
disparagingly, it gives him prominence; so the best thing I can do is not to
speak about him at all.
So for the past several months I have
held my peace and heeded the advice of my friends but my blood begins to boil
when I see letters in the newspapers, probably written by phantoms, telling us
what a national treasure this man is, that he is to be commended for renovating
Unity House and that it is sad that he was not there for the opening!
Ladies and gentlemen it is my opinion
that it is sad that he is at Unity House at all.
The last time I checked, Nadir and the United
Force were bankrupt, so my first question has to be, from whence does this
sudden and inexplicable affluence to rebuild Unity House come from? Where did
the money to hold that farce of a congress come from? If this money is coming
from Freedom house, which is my suspicion, Peter D'Aguair would be spinning in
his grave right now.
The PPP needs members of the opposition
to support them, it is part of the window dressing they need to give
credibility to the illusion that their open and progressive policies are
supported by other groups; they made offers to Paul Hardy and Ravi Dev after
the last election but these two gentlemen were not swayed by the gifts that
went along with these offers from the PPP, thereby showing some measure of
integrity which was refreshing. But not Nadir he betrayed his mandate, crossed
the floor as an opposition member and joined the PPP in the parliament; by his
own admission Nadir, on plain talk with Christopher Ram, said that he had the
United Force's Register with him and that he can show 1000 members, that number
of members cannot get one sixth of one seat in our Parliament! He also told Ram
that he would break the law on how he pays for his election expenses.
I have the recording of the programme
to prove it!! I also have the recording of Nadir and his vice chairman Errol
Van Nooten on Plain Talk, where an exasperated Ram not getting any answers from
Nadir or this Van nothing saying to them "I keep asking you questions and the
answer to every question I ask you is that are not prepared to answer it, so you
tell me what questions to ask!"
The current UF support comes mainly from
the Amerindian Community recently this government passed a very contentious
[to the Amerindians] Bill which all of the Amerindian associations of Guyana condemned
and vowed to take to court, so the Amerindians through their cultural
organisations have spoken plainly, they have rejected this government and their
bill. Not once did the United Force issue a condemnation of this Bill, in fact
in Parliament Nadir did what his PPP bosses told him to do, he voted in favour
of it. How dare he now ask for their vote? Is anyone in this country stupid
enough to think that Nadir can now get one Amerindian vote unless he pays for
As far as Nadir's performance in
Government as Minister of Trade is concerned I can only describe it as dismal.
The chicken and cement fiascos are evidence of this but it is what he did not
do, more than what he did, that shines.
Nadir has as a Minister of Trade
completely failed to implement any consumer protection legislation during his
entire term in office even though the public were being ripped off by
unscrupulous store owners including some of the companies offering hire
purchase and selling expired and inferior goods.
Nadir failed consumers, Manufacturers,
the Rice Farmers and the Fishing Industry by not bringing his Ministry's weight
to bear on the price of fuel particularly Diesel and the cost of electricity to
the business community and the other production sectors.
In 2005 after Nadir was our Minister of
trade for 4 years and paid lip service to every platitude possible concerning
foreign investment in this country, the world Economic forum which over the
last 20 years has been measuring the National Competitiveness for trade of over
117 countries worldwide, assessed Guyana this way.
- In the area of Growth Competitiveness
Index i.e. our ability as a nation to compete in international trade
including rice and sugar, we ranked 115 out of the 117 participating
nations. Let me put this in perspective for you, we are lower than Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Cambodia. Only two countries are below us, Chad and Kyrgzstan both torn by
civil war, electoral fraud and terrorism. That is where we are headed.
- This growth competitiveness index is
comprised various elements that gives this overall rating of 115 out of the
117 nations studied, as far as the Technology index is concerned we ranked
112 out of 117
- As far as our Public Institutions and
their functioning is concerned we rankled 109 out of 117 countries.
- As far as the management of our
macroeconomic environment situation in this country is concerned we ranked
113 out of the 117 countries studied.
- As far as our Companies Operations and Strategy
rankings were concerned we ranked 105 out of 116.
- As far as our overall business
competitiveness index is concerned we ranked 110 out of 116 i.e. in so far
as we are capable of competing on international markets we are ranked at
the bottom of the heap, an economic and political disaster.
- In the category of out rating of the Quality
of the Business Environment ranking we were 109 out of 116 countries.
So after being
our Minister of Trade for 5 years and after joining his masters in the PPP who
have been in control of our economic destiny for the past 14 years we are at
the bottom of the international group of nations in almost every phase of our economic
performance, trade and governance; I repeat the only two countries below
us are plagued by civil strife, open rebellion, civil war, terrorism and
electoral fraud. I beg you ladies and Gentlemen heed this warning, our economy
is behaving as if there is civil war and rebellion in this country, we are
grouped with the countries that are, please open your eyes and see the truth;
for 40 years you have refused to do so. Are you going to wait for blood in the
streets before you decide to change? And we have been at civil war since 1964
one group sabotaging the other when in power; the only thing we have not seen
is open warfare.
I can lie,
Jagdeo can lie, Nadir can lie about how good or bad we are doing, but these
studies which have been going on for over 20 years do not have an agenda and they
do not lie.
Minister of Trade and tourism in Guyana for nearly 5 years Nadir has
accomplished nothing, except to lie to the Guyanese people that we have a
tourist trade, messed up the chicken industry, messed up the cement situation, sat
idly by whilst someone messed up the airport causing it to close, did not
effectively represent the business/productive community in the face of rising
fuel and power costs, did not protect the population from unscrupulous store
owners, especially those offering hire purchase. Nor did he expand any part of our
trade in any known area.
All he did was
hold a few trade shows exhibiting produce which has not impacted on our foreign
earnings one iota! All of the things we are showing off at these shows are just
window dressing, products from bottom house operations and cottage industries which
cannot impact on the national disgrace we call an economy, these so called
trade shows hide the fact that as far as trade is concerned we are at the
absolute bottom of the international heap. Is he now manufacturing letters to
the newspapers praising his accomplishments? You decide! Are the PPP financing
Nadir for the 2006 elections to rig 2 or 3 seats for him in the parliament
since any seat he gets is theirs? You decide that also! I already have.