Engineer and Businessman, Charles Ceres intends to take action against the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP Member of Parliament Anil Nandlall, over statements that sought to link him to allegations of “land grabbing”. The allegations have since been debunked by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
Mr. Ceres who is the owner and CEO of Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc. said he believes the Opposition Leader is attacking him because he is a wealthy and successful businessman who has stayed clear of the party that Jagdeo runs and what it stands for.
At his last press conference, Jagdeo claimed that the businessman has been granted leases for several large sets of land by the current administration.
The businessman today said the leases that he had been approved for the Canje area were all done under the PPP administration. He has relinquised the large lease and the only one he currently has is for a plot of land in Lilliendaall, where he has since built the headquarters for his company and is paying a lease price far higher than what others granted land in the same area are paying.
According to the businessman, “the PPP, under Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar granted land to China Paper for $50.00 per acre per year. I paid $1000.00/acre per year for the land in Canje Creek up to the time of relinquishment. I continue to pay $200,000 per acre/per year for the land in Liliendaal, which is being beneficially utilized as dictated by the terms of the lease. The lease I have presented to you for the Liliendaal land is a matter of public record”.
He said he has also dropped off a copy of his documents at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, so that Jagdeo could be updated on the information.
Mr. Ceres said he is a businessman who has worked hard and who enjoys the confidence of major companies across the globe.
He made it clear that he does not benefit from “government work” and has assisted both the current and former PPP government with his engineering expertise for free. He said under the last government, even with his company’s known track record internationally, it could not qualify for government jobs under the PPP.
“I am flattered that Jagdeo consider me worthy of his attention. However, if he considers me important enough to warrant his attention, he should explain to the Guyanese public the reasons why GSEC, the company I own has never been qualified enough to work for his and/or the Ramotar administration while we have provided quality engineering services to practically all international private sector companies working in and out of Guyana. While at that task, I challenge him to identify one of the companies, his and Ramotar led administration have nurtured, which has the wide ranging project portfolio of GSEC”, Ceres said.
He said he believes him being a successful Afro Guyanese businessman is an issue for Jagdeo, but noted that he is willing to present his source of income and wealth to be scrutinized once the Opposition Leader would do the same.
Ceres said over the years, his company has been involved in building minds and assisting young engineers in their growth, adding that ““young people have ideas, Old people have memories”.
This is not the first time that the former President has been accused of race-baiting or attacking afro Guyanese.
He has faced private criminal charges before over racially sensitive language at a public meeting .