Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Sep 05, 2016 News
Regardless of whatever explanations the Government may present for keeping NICIL, former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran insists that there is great danger in keeping the controversial entity alive in its present form.
Goolsarran said that prior to 2002, a Privatization Unit was functioning under the Ministry of Finance. He said that by a Management Cooperation Agreement entered into, the Privatization Unit, headed by the infamous Winston Brassington went over to NICIL and took over the operations of the entity.
The Chartered Accountant said that since then, state revenues, in the form of dividends and privatization proceeds have been intercepted and retained by NICIL as its revenue. These revenues he said were used for purposes as dictated by NICIL’s board.
Goolsarran said that while corrective actions might have been taken in relation to some of the irregularities uncovered by the forensic audit he conducted on NICIL, there is the inescapable reality that “there is the clear danger that keeping NICIL ‘live’ can result in future abuses.”
The Chartered Accountant said that there is no reason why the current activities of NICIL cannot be undertaken as a department under the Ministry of Finance, as was done in the past.
He stressed that NICIL was established in 1990 to monitor the Government’s privatization programme and to collect all dividends from public corporations and other entities in which controlling interest is vested in the State, as well as privatization proceeds and pay them over to the Consolidated Fund. The former Auditor General said that the privatization programme came to an end some five years ago.
As regards Goolsarran’s recommendation to shut NICIL down, Chairman of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited, Dr. Maurice Odle said that this is a policy decision that Government has to make.
In a statement to the media, Odle said that a decision was taken by the Board not to recommend the disbanding of NICIL. He said that the Board recommended that NICIL retain both its original custodial and oversight role as a holding company and, also, its development role.
Dr. Odle believes that the development role, in conjunction with line Ministries, involves capitalization, financial and legal structuring, and project management, with respect to certain investments approved by Cabinet.
In addition, to this, the NICIL Chairman said that the entity to date continues to be responsible for various types of assets, particularly land and property, until such time that the Government may deem it necessary to privatize same.
He stressed that collaboration with Ministries and Agencies is being used to enhance effectiveness. In this regard, the NICIL Chairman cited that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Ministry of Business concerning the administration of Industrial Estates.
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Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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Future abuse is BAD? And current abuses is GOOD. Have you forgotten that the 50% incentive ‘removes’ (?) such abuses.?