May 19, 2016 News
The report on a forensic audit conducted into the operations of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) has raised numerous questions about the sale of two Duke Street properties to Roraima Airways.
Chartered Accountant, Anand Goolsarran, who conducted the audit, said that he could not secure a reason why NICIL decided to dispose of the properties despite apt location and the need that existed in many government offices for space.
NICIL sold the property at 93 Duke Street, Kingston to Roraima Airways in June 2010. Goolsarran said that the records of NICIL indicate that Roraima was the third highest bidder. However, the highest bidder withdrew his bid after the tender was awarded to him.
NICIL then decided to sell the property to Roraima Airways because of its expansion plans as well as the fact that the company is the owner the adjacent property which NICIL had earlier sold to it.
Goolsarran pointed out that the two properties were sold for $49M and $138M, compared with valuations of $50 million and $140 million respectively. “It is not clear how much was expended on renovation works before these two properties was sold.”
Further, Goolsarran questioned the rationale for disposing of the prosperities but said, “This could also not be determined, considering the property was strategically located in close proximity of the United Stated Embassy and the Canadian High Commission and other State agencies in need of office space have been renting buildings over the years, e.g. the Guyana Revenue Authority in respect of its office in Camp Street.”
Goolsarran noted that in 2011, NICIL had sold the land only at Lot E ½ 126 & 127 Barrack and Parade Streets with an acreage of 0.6753 for $179 million, “This land is in close proximity of the Duke Street properties.”
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