Greenidge petitions Parliament for money to probe NICIL
…moves to force Dr. Ashni Singh for full disclosure of Privatization Deals
The Guyana Government through its Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and Chief Spokesman Dr. Roger Luncheon has already indicated an unwillingness to entertain an independent probe of NICIL but this is not deterring Carl Greenidge in his quest.
Carl Greenidge, who serves as the point man on Finance for A Partnership for National Unity, has moved to the Parliament with a motion to seek to have the House set aside monies to facilitate an in-depth and independent financial probe of the Government-owned National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
That motion will be debated Wednesday in the House. Greenidge has premised his demand with the fact that “Guyanese are concerned about the widely reported acts of lawlessness in the guardianship of our national resources and assets as well as the lack of transparency and accountability associated with the disposal of those assets.”
As such, he is seeking to have the Parliament direct the substantive Ministers, namely Dr. Ashni Singh and Bishop Juan Edghill, to “make financial provision for the urgent commissioning of an independent financial audit of the operations of NICIL and the Privatisation Unit.”
The former Finance Minister is looking even before monies are allocated for the probe, to have the Minister turn over all documents in relation to all of the privatization deals undertaken by Brassington.
As it relates to information in the possession of the coalition and a police report as had been intimated by Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell (ag) one party Executive says that at present, APNU merely harbours suspicion of financial irregularities or malfeasance against Winston Brassington and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
Deborah Backer, one of the more senior executive members of the party, told media operatives that while the party is in possession of “some information” in relation to Brassington and NICIL, she does not believe that it’s enough to constitute a police report to launch a formal investigation.
The former Shadow Home Affairs Minister, who now holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio for APNU, was speaking at the party’s press briefing when she said that the move to the courts by the Government on the Budget Cuts were merely a diversionary tactic.
She spoke of diversionary tactics to remove the light of scrutiny from incidences of financial irregularities, NICIL and now the recent brouhaha over the Chinese CJIA Airport Expansion Project Contractor.
Backer drew reference to the party’s motion on NICIL for debate this coming Wednesday and said that this is one of the avenues that the APNU coalition will be using to ascertain whether there is enough information to warrant a report to the Police against Brassington.
The Shadow Finance Minister Carl Greenidge has repeatedly since returning to Guyana recently, condemned the current operations of the Government Holding Company to the point of calling it a “slush fund” for the Administration.
As such, Greenidge is looking to have the House call on the relevant Ministers namely Dr.Ashni Singh and Bishop Juan Edghill to also provide a report of “all the fiscal concessions, including duty free concessions, granted in response to specific requests or as part of contracts awarded by the Tender Board and the criteria on which these awards were based, be placed before the National Assembly for review.”
He is also seeking to have the Ministers “lay in the National Assembly for review and where applicable, for ratification, all international agreements, (including mining agreements involving the award of state lands and fiscal concessions), signed by the Government since 1st January, 2000.”
Among other things, Greenidge is also looking also to have the Ministers clearly outline what criteria were used for the disposal of the State Assets by NICIL through the Privatization Unit.