Jan 20, 2014 News
…sold its shares in Berbice Bridge for $950M
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), headed by Winston Brassington, raked out almost $7B in profits for 2012 but paid over just $1B to government.
This information is contained in its latest annual report (2012) to be tabled in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh.
According to the report, which was tabled in the House on Thursday last the company’s revenue for 2012 was $6, 965, 255, 955.
The report noted that its operating expense was just $154M meaning that its profit was more than $6.8B.
According to the 2012 report, NICIL’s assets in terms of property and equipment were just over $1.4B while it holds another $5B in investments.
Having never collected any dividends from the Berbice Bridge Company Inc, the report states that in 2012 NICIL sold all of its shares to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) for $950M.
By the end of 2012, the company had also invested almost $3B in Atlantic Hotel Inc, which is building the Marriott Hotel in Kingston.
The report also documents that during the year 2012, NICIL also sold all of its shares in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company for US$30M.
As at the end of 2012, NICIL received US$25M for the sale with the remaining US$5M payable in two years.
The report stated that other than Brassington, who has a contract for service with NICIL, there were no other contracts between the company and any of its Directors.
The Directors for NICIL, at the end of 2012 were Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, Sonya Roopnauth, a Director in the Finance Ministry’s Budget Office, Nigel Dharamlall who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and the Executive Director, Brassington.
In November last, A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Financial Spokesperson, Carl Greenidge had lashed out at the Finance Minister for failing to comply with the resolution which came out of the motion on NICIL that the opposition had voted for.
That motion in the House had arose from general concerns about the unaccountability on the part of NICIL for a variety of actions; how it had taken decisions with Government resources in a number of projects and also because NICIL was originally established as a holding company which was intended to oversee the allocation of assets that came out of the privatization.
It was also responsible for advising on how properties are disposed of but the government instead, “uses NICIL to get these lands and distribute them to its friends without having to go through any proper procedure for vetting or for setting prices or anything like that,” according to Greenidge.
“State lands are not supposed to be handed out at personal whims and fancies, which is what the government has been using the company to do.”
“This is the heart of the problem,” the Former Finance Minister said, and so a motion was passed in 2012 calling on the government to account for the lands that it has been entrusted with and to explain the basis upon which these lands have been handed out. It was also asked to ensure that the agency brings its accounts up to date and that they hand over the monies and excess funds to the treasury.
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