NICIL failed several rounds of scrutiny
First let me inform our Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, that the National Industrial Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has failed miserably at several levels of scrutiny. A few are listed below: substantial surplus funds held by NICIL are not deposited in the Consolidated Fund; no reported Audited Financial Statements of NICIL for over seven years; Illegal deals and peppercorn prices for State Assets – Sanata Textiles Complex among others; conflicts of Interest that permeate the role played by Dr Ashni Singh who as Chairman of the NICIL Board reports to himself as Minister of Finance; have a close relative of the Minister of Finance in the person of the Deputy Auditor General play a senior role in the audit of government agencies and corporations including NICIL.
Some of the government agencies and corporations fall under the direct control of the Minister of Finance. Then there are the failure to disclose monies owed to NICIL and its subsidiaries for State assets sold in the past seven unaudited years; failure to disclose the investments of NICIL over the period; Companies Act 1991 amended in 1995 is subordinate to The Constitution of Guyana.
It would be tiring of me to list other instances of waywardness to highlight the unctuous gimmicks of NICIL and its “Board of Directors” who placed NICIL funds under the discretionary control of the PPP; in effect overriding the Supreme Law of the Land – The Constitution of Guyana.
Commenting on the body politick in 1980 People Power no Dictator; Dr Walter Rodney, Guyana and the Caribbean Community most brilliant historian noted: “There is a double tragedy in this situation. First there is the tragedy (with some mixture of comedy) of the incompetent, the mediocre and the corrupt making a mess of things.
Secondly, there is tragedy in which men and women of ability and integrity have been dismissed or they have run away or they have been reduced to silence.” NICIL and its principals have confirmed Dr Rodney’s statement.
In the May 10, 2012 edition of the Guyana Times, the erudite Dr Roger Luncheon added to his illimitable lexicon the term ‘liquid cash’. I suspect that the goodly doctor has been advised to avoid and to divert public focus from the use of $50 Billion in surplus funds referenced by “perceived commentators” a category into which Dr Singh has lumped the critics of NICIL.
Dr Luncheon added that ignoring the articles of association proves a waste of time and illustrates the “pandering to the gimmickry of Ramjattan and his acolytes”. Dr Luncheon what about you and your fealty faction ignoring Article 216 of the Constitution of Guyana? The articles of association of the companies act are mere prose rendered null, void and meaningless to the extent the articles are inconsistent with the Constitution of Guyana.
Our esteemed Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh who is quite aware that liquid cash and surplus funds could represent materially divergent amounts of assets is now in full camouflage mode. Minister Dr Ashni Singh should banish any reference to Guyana’s Companies Act as he attempts to relegate the requirements of Guyana Consolidated Fund to the legal status of Guyana’s Company’s Act.
Then we have Mr Winston Brassington a seeming master of toadyism playing to perfection a facilitating role for President Jagdeo and Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh. Mr Brassington has been appointed to all number of leadership roles in government agencies for the perceptible purpose of catering to the demands of the PPP power players.
Brassington has admitted to being in a befuddled state as recorded in Guyana Times dated May 12, 2012.
Let us not conveniently substitute “Liquid Cash” for Surplus Funds as seems to be the plan of the PPP collaborators. We do not expect the PPP to sell billions in Government assets and place the proceeds in a chequing account. The Surplus Funds far exceed the Liquid Cash.
In another bit of comedy we have the knowledgeable Minister of Finance claiming in Guyana Times of April 30, 2012 “NICIL operates within the law”.
NICIL in its current form is a glaring case of power run amok. Guyanese leaders and the citizens need to ensure that NICIL is converted to operate in the interest of all Guyanese. It is inexcusable to have substantial amounts of Government funds outside the remit of the National Assembly.
NICIL gross misconduct amounts to a revulsion of good governance and has evolved to become an insidious form of perfidy against the Constitution of Guyana.
And to the defenders of NICIL pillage from the citizens of Guyana, I refer them to the quote by Thomas Paine: “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead”.