NICIL’s role in sugar estates’ revitalisation

National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) as a State institution was integral in following through on the Government’s vision to revitalise the sugar estates and in so doing handed over the vested Estates namely Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore Estates with effective date from September 30, 2020 to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO).

Government’s initiative for the Wales Estate was addressed under the creation of a flagship project captioned, ‘The Wales Development Authority (WDA).’  This project will represent a new era in Agricultural development and will see the employment of modern economic models across various sectors.  It was therefore noted that …

            “The Wales Development Authority will be a new area of development that will benefit from special incentives, that will benefit from a special tax regime to motivate investors in manufacturing, industrial development, warehousing, connectivity and wharf development …”

NICIL therefore sought to reorganise its operations across its varied locations, given that from 2017 most of the equipment and machinery of the Wales Estate were transferred to other Estates to enhance their operational efficiency and optimise their operations.  Other remaining assets were utilised in NICIL’s Rice Cultivation Project, which was discontinued in October, 2020 given that it was not feasible to continue thereafter. 

NICIL maintained forty-nine (49) fortnightly paid workers, as at December 31, 2020.  These workers were deployed in various fields including Administration, Compound Maintenance, Field Workshop, Agriculture with Security workers making up the majority of workers, namely thirty-two (32) workers on record.  The security workers were allowed to secure employment through the recently engaged private security company and the other workers would be contracted as necessary on an ad-hoc basis to provide maintenance services on the Estate.

At the time of NICIL’s receipt of a letter from Trade Union Recognition & Certification Board (TURCB) plans were already in train to effect the transfer of the Wales Estate to facilitate the creation of the Wales Development Authority.  NICIL’s actions to separate from fortnightly paid workers were in full support of its intent to ready the Estate for the ultimate transition.

NICIL would have further facilitated the employment of several workers by referring them to the independent security company which is now tasked with securing the immovable assets of the Wales Estate during this brief transition phase.

NICIL remains committed to working in tandem with Government’s vision for furthering the developmental goals of Guyana.