The President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali has requested the ‘removal’ of Guyana Oil Company (GUYOIL)’s Board member, Akanni Blair. This request comes on the heels of a massive fuel scandal that erupted at the state-owned company earlier this month. The Head of State made this revelation during a media engagement earlier today. He also noted that the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Shawn Persaud, will also be ‘removed’.

“The Board Member, [Akanni] Blair – I’ve asked that the Board Member, Blair, be removed and the staff[er], Shawn Persaud – that staff will be removed because he was on probation,” the President said.

While the president emphasized that ‘no fraud was committed’, he stressed the need for a review of the company’s operation. It is unclear what prompted the President to call for Blair’s removal despite an ongoing investigation by the Auditor General into the alleged fuel scandal between GUYOIL representatives and Aaron Realty Inc. (ARI).

ARI said that it was asked to supply US$3.4M in fuel to the company. However, the company claimed that GUYOIL refused to take the said fuel after it arrived. GUYOIL is on record stating that whilst ARI was one of the companies it had discussions with on the possible supply of fuel, it did not at any time enter into a contract with the company. The Auditor General, Deodat Sharma was called in to investigate at the request of the Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh.

Aside from this latest scandal, President Ali disclosed that other investigations are ongoing at the company following the unearthing of ‘massive’ corruption – all inherited, he contends.

“There is an ongoing investigation with GUYOIL where $300M in fuel is being investigated with the army, where they had great mismanagement. The Auditor General has raised that. We have an investigation ongoing also with companies collecting fuel from the terminal and those companies had no right to be there collecting fuel in other agencies’ name. And these are things that we inherited, and those investigations are going on. Those investigations are with the police and the Auditor General at the moment…But those are things that we inherited – massive, massive corruption we’ve inherited there, let me make it very clear. Massive, massive corruption!”


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