FORMER Board member of the Guyana Water Authority (GWI), Mr. Charles Ceres, has refuted statements appearing in the Stabroek News which suggest that his resignation from that board stemmed from disagreements with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Richard Van-West Charles.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Ceres said he resigned from the GWI Board because of personal commitments. “I own an engineering consultant company; I have about 20 employees who I have a responsibility to; that responsibility supersedes everything else. I have responsibilities too. I opted out of being a member of the Board of GWI simply because I cannot give the time that is required to ensure that my tenure at GWI is going to contribute to the development of the organisation,” Ceres said.
He took issue with the Stabroek News’ report on his resignation, contending that the information therein is untrue and was given by unknown sources.
The article in question has stated that “while this newspaper has been unable to speak to Ceres, sources had indicated that he resigned because of issues he had with Van West-Charles’s management of GWI, but the CEO denied this.”
According to Ceres, “Everything that you have read in Stabroek News is in fact untrue; and I am kind of peeved at the fact that Stabroek News can find the time to speak to an unknown source and cannot find the time to speak to me.”
He added: “I want to discredit all of these issues you see in Stabroek News.”
Ceres made it clear that he does only face-to-face interviews, and not interviews over the phone; and he said no reporter had tried to meet him on the matter.
He also said some persons are of the view that the board is intended to “run” the corporation, but he disagrees. Ceres says he saw his role as being an advisor to the CEO.
“My role, if I had remained on the board, was simply to provide advice to him (Dr. Charles). I have continued to provide advice to him since I have resigned. In fact, I do not have the time to commit myself and my resource to doing what I think is requisite for me to do if I’m a member of the Board”, Ceres has said.
Following the change of Government that accompanied national general elections on May 11, 2015, a new Board for the utility company was sworn in.
Its members are Nigel Hinds (Chairperson), and directors Charles Ceres, Emil McGarrell, David Dewar, Christina Bissessar, Savitri Singh Sharma, Ryan Belgrave, Patricia Chase-Green and Samantha Fedee.