President’s address to ParliamentDespite being in office for almost a year and a half, presenting two national budgets and another due for December 2016, President David Granger on Thursday used an address to the National Assembly to complain about the state of the country’s economy back in May 2015 when his A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition took office, describing it as a depressing financial landscape.Addressing the National Assembly in the absence of the Opposition People’s ProgressiPresident David Granger speaking to Government MPs after the Opposition boycotted his addressve Party/Civic which boycotted the President’s address to the 65-member legislature, Granger said the economic legacy that his Government inherited was characterised by a lack of strategic planning and whimsical decision-making.“Your Government entered a depressing financial landscape in May 2015… Economic mismanagement was accompanied by huge debts for unpaid international obligations and court judgements,” Granger said, adding that the absence of a policy to provide employment opportunities for youth and to reduce extreme poverty and the failure to energise the manufacturing sector helped to weaken the economy.GuySuCoThe Guyanese Head of State singled out the financial troubles faced by the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), which he said owed $89 billion in debts, forcing the Government to divert money from economic and social programmes to rescue the ailing Corporation with an immediate injection of $12 billion and an additional $11 billion in 2016, making it a $23 billion bailout in 18 months.“These transfers exclude the servicing of GuySuCo’s debts in respect of the Skeldon Estate Modernisation Project – a monstrous and monumental US$200 million mistake and, probably Guyana’s single most costly industrial catastrophe of all time,” he stated.RiceHe said that rice farmers “were not spared the previous Administration’s reckless mismanagement.”“The PetroCaribe Fund – used to meet payments to farmers for rice and paddy shipped to Venezuela – contained less than US$1 million in May 2015. Your Government was forced to make available nearly $4 billion immediately so that poor paddy farmers could be paid,” the President claimed.JudgementsHe also spoke of a number of liabilities which he said his Administration inherited including a $7 billion in favour of NH Elias for the East Bank Demerara Road, the $1.3 billion in favour of Rudisa Beverages, judgement in favour of Trinidad Cement Limited, settlement for $1.4 billion with B K Tiwari on Haags Bosch Project and several other judgements that will cost the State over $1 billion.“Your Government, also, was obliged to provide another $5.4 billion bailout the National Insurance Scheme as a consequence of the previous Administration’s irresponsible CLICO investment,” he stated.Granger however noted that despite these challenges, his Government managed to give public servants pay increases, raise the income tax threshold from $600,000 to $660,000, increase the minimum wage from $39,520 in May 2015, to $55,000 in January 2016 while Old Age Pension and public assistance were also increased.“These benefits, taken together, augmented workers disposable income significantly,” he stated.The President also spoke of his Government’s intentions to improve the quality of life for Guyanese, including greater access to public service, declaring that citizens should not have to leave their respective regions to access public service.According to the Head of State, his Government’s overarching objective is to ensure a ‘good life’ for all of citizens and has chosen a ‘green’ pathway to achieve a higher quality of life. He went on to outline his ‘green agenda” which encompasses a comprehensive, multisectorial development programme.Public securityThe President also outlined his Government’s plans for the security sector which includes the establishment of several anti-crime agencies to uproot the causes of crime and its links with transnational crime.“We established a National Security Committee. We are in the process of establishing a new National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) to address the mother of all crimes – the trafficking in narcotics. We will establish a new National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) to ensure better surveillance of our borders and coasts,” Granger stated.He added that a decision was also taken to re-engage the United Kingdom with a view to restoring the aborted Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP).“The Plan will commence soon with the arrival of experts from the United Kingdom to advise us on crafting a national security response to domestic and transnational crime – including narcotics-trafficking and gun-running,” the President explained.He said too that increased aerial surveillance over the maritime zone over the past year led to a reduction in the incidence of piracy as he pledged to expand the Guyana Police Force’s Marine wing.Among the other areas the President examined are his Government’s legislative agenda, public trust and its aim to fulfil its campaign promise of a good life.“We aim at the development of a cohesive society in which confrontation is replaced by cooperation. The removal of inequalities based on geography and ethnicity will lay the foundation for a better ‘quality of life’ for everyone. We will work to reduce prejudice and violence. We will fashion a multicultural society characterised by tolerance and mutual respect,” President Granger declared.
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If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. See all posts by Jabran Khan Jabran Khan | Friday, 30th October, 2020 | More on: VVO Image source: Getty Images Is this FTSE 250 stock a bargain or one to avoid? Here’s what I think Jabran Khan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 One FTSE 250 stock I like and that is very cheap right now is Vivo Energy (LSE:VVO). VVO is a British company that distributes and markets Shell and Engen branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Africa. It maintains subsidiaries and operations in 23 countries across the continent. Cheap FTSE 250 stockAt the beginning of the year, shares in VVO could be purchased for 125p. When the market crashed, its share price tumbled to a low of 64.5p. As I write this, it has recovered slowly and shares are currently trading at only 75p per share. At its current price point I consider VVO to be quite cheap.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…VVO joined the FTSE 250 in April 2018 and was trading at a high of 172.5p per share. An argument could be made that its reduction in price is not a positive sign. My response to that would be that the recent economic downturn has affected nearly all companies and industries in a negative way. I would not base any investment opinion on share price alone, especially not right now due to the pandemic and crash.PerformanceReviewing Vivo’s longer-term performance across the past three years makes for positive reading. It has seen a year-on-year increase in revenue and gross profit, which is definitely a positive indicator for any investor.VVO today released its Q3 trading update and I feel there are some positive takeaways from it. As expected, Q2 was difficult for many firms in the FTSE 250.VVO recorded a gross cash profit of $187m which is impressive despite the recent restrictions it has faced due to the pandemic. This is only a 1% decrease compared to the same period last year when there were no restrictions or pandemic. Q3 volumes of 2,492m litres was a significant improvement from Q2 although it remained 7% lower year-on-year. VVO’s retail segment saw lower volumes but an improvement compared to the previous quarter. In addition to this, a number of countries it serves returned to year-on-year growth during Q3. Its commercial segment volumes were lower and impacted by a lack of international travel and movement.VVO initially suspended its 2019 dividend of 2.7 cents per share when the economic downturn first occurred. In its update today it has confirmed that it will now pay that dividend in December to shareholders who are on the register by 20 November 2020. This is a positive move as it shows the firm is confident in its financial flexibility and can reinstate its dividend.My verdictOverall, I really like Vivo Energy but there is an element of risk. There are positives, in that longer-term performance has been impressive. Its Q3 trading update shows that despite the market uncertainty, it is getting closer to pre-crash levels of performance and volumes. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty and potential further restrictions, we could see another repeat of Q2 performance. This is where I believe the risk lies for VVO. At this moment, I would be willing to buy some shares in VVO. I wouldn’t be investing lots of cash but feel it could be worth buying some shares and keeping an eye on developments across the FTSE 250. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. 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