Hughes tenders resignation as AFC Chairman – AFC rejects resignation

Hughes tenders resignation as AFC Chairman

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 – Demerara Waves

nigel_hughes

Nigel Hughes

Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC) and attorney –at-law Nigel Hughes has tendered his resignation in the wake of a newspaper article which reports that he is the Company Secretary of the entity that will operate the opposition-maligned Amaila Hydropower station.

AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan declined to immediately comment on Hughes’ move. “Can you kindly stop this. You can have what you want on the (DemWaves) website. It’s something I’ll have to deal with,” said Ramjattan when contacted. He had moments earlier denied that Hughes had resigned. “Absolutely not, as far as I’m aware.”

Ramjattatn described Hughes as “a very good Chairman” and he has recused himself from all meetings on the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.    

In a release seen on Tuesday Hughes said the information had been public knowledge for years and that he had always acted professionally.

Below is the complete press release.

PRESS RELEASE BY NIGEL HUGHES

The headline in today’s Kaieteur News “Nigel Hughes is company Secretary of Amaila Hydro Inc” was difficult to miss both in prominence and import.

The incorporation of the Amaila Falls Hydro Inc and my appointment as secretary have been a matter of public record since the incorporation of the company in April 2009.

I welcome and support the publication of this fact and as I do any other matter pertinent to the issues surrounding the Amaila Falls debate.

When the issue of Amaila falls Hydro project became a matter of public interest I immediately disclosed my interest to the Leadership of the Alliance for Change (AFC).

I also asked to be recused from participating in their deliberations on the matter.

The provision of this public information by a prominent chartered accountant to the Kaieteur News at this time could only have been for the purpose of explicitly or implied suggesting that I have been advancing the cause of my clients in the deliberations by the AFC on the Amaila issue.

I completely without reservation reject this contention.

I have at all times acted professionally and disclosed to the party my relationship with the Client as the client has been aware of my position in the party.

As a result of this clear attempt to tarnish the name of the AFC and its publicly stated positions on the Amaila Falls Hydro project I have today offered my resignation as Chairman to the Alliance for Change.

C.A. Nigel Hughes

AFC rejects Hughes’ resignation over Amaila link

nigel_hughes

Nigel Hughes

Tuesday, 06 August 2013

The Alliance For Change has rejected the resignation of Chairman Nigel Hughes who earlier Tuesday tendered it in the wake of a newspaper article which reported his connection to the Amaila project.

Tuesday’s edition of the Kaieteur News reported that Hughes was the Company Secretary for the operators of the firm that would eventually run the hydropower facility, a project that has come in for heavy criticism from the opposition AFC and APNU.

Hughes in a subsequent press release stated that the information had been in the public for years and that he had always acted professionally. The attorney also revealed in that release that he had tendered his resignation.

Below is the AFC’s response to the developments.

August 6, 2013

AFC reposes full confidence in Nigel Hughes as Chairman

Georgetown, Guyana – General Secretary for the Alliance For Change, Mr. David Patterson today informed Chairman Mr. Nigel Hughes of the Party’s receipt of his offer of resignation from Chairmanship of the party. On behalf of the Management Committee of the Party, the GS further advised Mr. Hughes that his resignation was not accepted and that the Party continues to repose full and complete confidence in him both as member and Chairman.

The Party wishes to establish, as a matter of public record and for the benefit of full disclosure to the public the following facts:

1.     Mr. Hughes was not a member of the AFC in April 2009 when he commenced professional engagement with Amaila Falls Hydro Inc/Sithe Global.

2.     Mr. Hughes officially joined the Party in July 2011.

3.     Mr. Hughes was elected Chairman of the Party on August 4th 2012. Therefore the matters of professional engagement with AFHI predated, by some time, Mr. Hughes’ membership to the Party and further his election to the office of Chairman.

4.     Mr. Hughes declared his professional association with Sithe Global at the commencement of the Amaila Fall Hydro Power Project coming into national focus and requested of the Party that he be recused from the decision making process at every stage. The Party agreed and Mr. Hughes has been so recused.

5.     The AFC remains steadfastly supportive of hydro power projects (or any other alternative energy source options) with the express condition being that the benefits redound to the Guyanese people and the country. The Party’s position in this regard remains unchanged and the Party recommits to representing the best interest of Guyanese in this regard.

6.   The Party’s previously stated position with regard to the due diligence from the IDB (awaiting their report) and the level of debt ceiling proposed by the motion (with regard to its sustainability) remains the same. The Party is favourably considering its support for the Hydro Amendments (the Environmental Bill) if re-tabled.

The party wishes to assure its members and supporters both here in Guyana and overseas and all Guyanese that it employed best practice at all times with regard to the formulation of decisions and the position of the party with regard to AFHI and indeed the Party thanks Mr. Hughes for his timely and forthright declaration of interest. This allowed the Party to act responsibly and judiciously to avoid any potential conflicts.

The Party reiterates that it continues to repose every confidence in Mr. Hughes in executing the duties of Chairman of the party, a role in which he has acted with the utmost professionalism.

The Party views as unfortunate, but is not surprised by efforts designed to malign its image, particularly at such a sensitive time.

The party wishes to commend Mr. Hughes for placing the interest of the Party and the people of Guyana above his own interests in taking what is a selfless, magnanimous and a most difficult decision to offer his resignation. Mr. Hughes’s willingness to act in the public interest and to the detriment of his own political career speaks to his character and his offer of resignation, in the eyes of the Party and indeed of all Guyanese only enhances his stature and reputation as a leader of high principle and morality.                                                          

-ENDS-

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Comments

  • Thinker  On 08/07/2013 at 4:17 pm

    A clear case of conflict of interest. A resignation should have come a long time ago, but from Sithe Global. Is this guy a serious politician? Is his profession more important than the contribution he can make to Guyana? Can he respond to the criticisms of the project made by professionals like Clive Thomas and Alfred Bhulai? Guyana desperately needs serious people at all levels.

  • Thinker  On 08/07/2013 at 4:31 pm

    What is the problem with the AFC accepting the resignation? The guy’s position is untenable as Chairman. As they short of talent? They will just embarrass themselves more.

    Openness on all sides is what Guyana needs.

  • Cliff Thomas  On 08/08/2013 at 12:50 am

    Just short comment. This will definitly be a conflict of interest. And the AFC has rejected the resignation. Is this for real?

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