Last week, the Ministry of Finance’s Special Purpose Unit (SPU) announced that it had secured a whopping $30 billion bond to revitalize the operations of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the three estates which fall under its management.The SPU, via its Head, Colvin Heath-London, also disclosed that the bond was secured on very favourable terms after hardball negotiations with a set of local and regional commercial institutions. He said the bond will have to be repaid over a five-year period by GuySuCo, but did not make public the specific details of the bond relative to the interest rate secured and the type of back arrangement that was agreed to by the GuySuCo and SPU team, which entered into the binding arrangement on behalf of the people of this country.After a series of investigations by this newspaper, and following the outcry of the Opposition, Mr Heath- London finally admitted that the loan was not accessed through financial concessional funding or Government Guarantee, but rather SPU had used the entire balance sheet of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) (which is a holding company) as collateral. The SPU explained that the monies secured would allow GuySuCo to reopen, on a ‘limited basis’, two estates, which would also see over 1200 workers being rehired to provide various services. The SPU boasted bold and revolutionary plans to redesign GuySuCo’s turnaround plan with a focus on marketing, sales, profitability, and the muchly touted concept of ‘value added’. The SPU’s announcement was taken with the proverbial pinch of salt, even though several stakeholders have been satisfied that incremental progress has been made by the Government following its callous and unfortunate decision to abruptly fire thousands of sugar workers, whose families were flung on the breadline.Others were suspicious of the entire announcement, especially as regards the rehiring of people who were made redundant just two months before without completely addressing the injustices committed by the Government against those workers, a large portion of whom are still owed their rightful severance payments and benefits. Some stakeholders view the move by the SPU as a clandestine attempt to get rid of GuySuCo’s indebtedness, so that it can honour its short-term debts. If this were done, then the entity would become more attractive to investors, who would not have to make a remarkable investment to turn a profit if they bought it.The truth is: the local civil society groups, politicians and stakeholders are not against the new vision and policies being articulated by the SPU under Heath-London’s leadership. They are more concerned about the mechanisms being employed to secure the final gains and desirable outcomes. Chief among their burning concerns is the question of transparency and accountability as far as the undertakings of the SPU and Government are concerned.Given the recent economic misfortune that has befriended the industry under the stewardship of Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, which saw sugar production declining by 40 percent despite support from the State, stakeholders are worried that the plan, while visionary, could be undermined if there is any attempt to re-allocate the management of GuySuCo or any estate to that Ministry.And, of course, they are concerned about the Government’s ability to ensure that it honours all aspects of the bond, because if Guyana defaults on its commitments, all of the assets — both moveable and immovable — that belong to GuySuCo and NICIL would be history, or lost.The Government’s SPU, therefore, must engage all local and regional stakeholders in order to benefit from the best advice on the implementation of its plans to turn the industry around. Its approach cannot be driven primarily by theoretical juxtapositions and writings about the sugar industry. Its approaches have to be informed by the experience of industry gurus and international market consultants trained in the field of value added production and marketing.In the end, GuySuCo which was built on the systems of colonisation, slavery and indentureship, must refocus itself as an entity concerned more about people and their socio-economic futures than just merely turning a profit.The SPU must become apolitical, as hard as it may seem, if any of the revolutionary plans it is contemplating are to be realized and sustained. In its struggle to rewrite the future of GuySuCo, it will definitely need the support of corporate Guyana, the united trades union movement, the body politic, and the people of Guyana if it is to succeed.