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Monday, May 08, 2006
Tony Vieira on Mansoor Nadir
Found this on another forum:

Commentary Unity House

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 fist 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 it?
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.

1. 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.

2. 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

3. As far as our Public Institutions and their functioning is concerned we rankled 109 out of 117 countries.

4. As far as the management of our macroeconomic environment situation in this country is concerned we ranked 113 out of the 117 countries studied.

5. As far as our Companies Operations and Strategy rankings were concerned we ranked 105 out of 116.

6. 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.

7. 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.
So being 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.