Prudent management leads to GWI achieving financial sustainability

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has been able to achieve financial sustainability under the new management of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shaik Baksh.

The CEO said the entity’s prudent financial management and reorganisation have seen massive improvement in its financial standing.

Guyana Water Incorporated, Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh.

“We have a stable financial position at GWI here and by that, I mean we have eliminated any need for overdraft facilities at the bank. Secondly, the cash flow is we have a fairly good cash flow position to meet all of our commitments, that is employment cost which was skyrocketing.

“But we have been able through the restructuring of GWI as you know, to reduce the employment numbers. This has resulted in an annual savings of about $240 million,” he explained.

In 2021, over 100 employees were made redundant from the utility company as it was found to be overstaffed. At the time, GWI’s staff complement was about 1,320 employees.  

Critical technical employees were hired to boost the company’s operations to fill the gap caused by resignations or retirement, during that time. Baksh said despite this, the agency did not forsake its employees’ welfare, be it physical comfort or protective gear.

So far, staff buildings were constructed in Regions Two, Five and Nine, as well as on the East Bank Demerara.

The CEO said the agency’s productivity index has significantly improved in keeping with its promise to provide efficient service countrywide. Moreso, it has opened opportunities for more work to be undertaken.

“Importantly, payment to suppliers, which was about $800 million and prior to September 2020, has now gone down to about $50 million owing to suppliers…this is a great achievement we feel. That’s what we call financial stability and sustainability,” Baksh added.

Since returning to his position in 2020, the CEO has addressed the mismanagement of GWI’s finances by the previous administration. This led to a forensic audit being undertaken to ascertain the amount of funds expended during their tenure.

“Under the previous administration as I reported before, there were millions and billions of dollars spent on the least thing. We have all that recorded and so we have cut out all of those things.”

The PPP Government also took the responsibility of paying off the water company’s Guyana Power and Light (GPL) outstanding account of $8 billion.