Dec 31, 2016 News
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) is hopeful that New Guyana
Pharmaceutical Corporation (New GPC), owned by Dr. Ranjisinghi “Bobby” Ramroop, will pay the $5.7M it owes on Government’s 10 percent shares in the said company.
This is according to Officer in Charge of NICIL, Horace James. He made this disclosure during NICIL’s end of year press conference , yesterday.
NEW GPC owes millions of dollars for various years stretching from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
James said, “We have written to them stating that they have to settle this account but they have replied to us stating that they are still owed monies by the government.
“They said that they are experiencing some cash flow problems. But they acknowledged that they owe us the dividends. The total owed is $5.7M.”
James said that NICIL has not moved to the courts as yet. He said that he is confident that the Board will move to pursue the monies owed. Asked to say when this is expected, he disclosed, “in early 2017.”
The NICIL official also stated that legal letters were sent to several government agencies which owe NICIL. In total the government agencies owe over $200M.
With this revelation in mind, Kaieteur News asked why the same course of action was not taken with regard to NEW GPC.
James said, however, that NICIL is not sure as yet how such a matter would play out in court in terms of the dividends declared by the company. He said, “We have to test that probably later but we are hoping they pay us early in 2017…They told us cash flow is low and government owes them and when they get the government’s money owed they will pay.”
James concluded, “We haven’t given up the money. We are going after it. There isn’t any reason why we can’t take it to court.”
Pressed again to say why NICIL would not resort to the courts, James retorted, “We are hopeful.”
The issue of the outstanding sums owed to NICIL by NEW GPC was revealed by a forensic audit that was conducted by Chartered Accountant, Anand Goolsarran.
Goolsarran, in his audit, stated, “In relation to the New GPC Inc., by Cabinet approval of October 1999 and September 2001, the Government had sold 60 percent and 30 percent respectively of its shareholding in the predecessor organization, the Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation, to Queens Atlantic Investments Inc. for $658 million.
However, there was no evidence that the New GPC paid any dividends to the Government for its 10 percent stake in the company.”
Contrary to Goolsarran’s findings, NICIL subsequently revealed that since privatization, it has in fact received $6.9M in dividends for its 10 percent minority shares in New GPC Inc. NICIL said that for 2007 it collected $495,000. The entity noted, too, that in 2010, it received $2,665,000.
Kaieteur News contacted Goolsarran to ascertain whether he had missed this information during his audit. The auditor made it clear however that this information was never presented to him and as such he believes that NICIL should come forward and produce the evidence of the dividends collected.
“The big question is why? Why would anyone with God-given commonsense have a share in a company and simply be so lax with ensuring that they receive dividends? What is before us points to many corrupt things and Ramroop and the company’s former Chief Executive Officer, Winston Brassington, would have to explain this,” the financial analyst had expressed.
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