Ramps Logistics, a Trinidadian company operating in Guyana for several years now, believes it is suffering a great injustice at the hands of the recently set up Local Content Secretariat and the Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat.
At a press conference this morning, Ramps’ CEO Shaun Rampersad said the company was denied the its local content certificate which it needs in order to be able to operate in the oil sector.
According to Rampersaud, the most “hurtful” part is that the company was not given the courtesy of an explanation as to why the application was denied. The Trinidadian businessman said that his company complied with every requirement of the local content act and even operated within the spirit of the legislation.
It is not clear, based on the documents provided to the media, the date upon which the application was made. However, an acknowledgement of the application was given by the Local Content Secretariat via email and a commitment was made to either accept or deny approval, also via email.
On June 8, Ramps was informed that its application was denied. The Secretariat stated, “Your application to the local content register has been refused by the Minister. You have been denied access to the Local Content register.”
Rampersaud said that some 30 minutes later, his employee, Samantha Cole, reached out via email seeking clarity. She said, “Let me know what this means.” But no response was given.
Two days later, Ramps Logistics sent a lawyer’s letter to both Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat and Martin Pertab, Director of the Local Content Secretariat.
In that letter regarding a request for reasons in respect of decision taken against Ramps Logistic (Guyana) Inc, the lawyers asked for three things. These are, a statement of all findings on material questions of fact relevant to the client’s application, copies of evidence and other materials relied upon by the minister and/ or the secretariat upon which the decision was based and a statement of the reasons for the decision denying our client’s application.
The letter stated that the decision “ruins” Ramps’ business and will result in severe loss of business.
On June 21, another letter was written to both the Minister and the Secretariat. That letter was a second request for reasons in respect of decision taken against Ramps Logistics Guyana. And in that letter, legal action was threatened as the lawyers stated, “this and our earlier letter to you will be relied upon in any proceedings our client is advised to institute against you.”
Rampersaud further noted that he divested 51 percent of the shares in his company to a Trinidadian of Guyanese parentage, Deepak Lall.
He said that Lall has strong roots here as both his father and grandfather are Guyanese. The businessman said that they chose Lall as she shares similar ways of doing business and brings value to the company.
Rampersaud said that if his company knows what are the weaknesses in its application, then it will be able to correct it.