Jan 04, 2017 News
-Privatization Unit now has its own board
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) is no longer operating in “parallel treasury” manner. In fact, it is only performing an oversight role for Government’s shares in various entities.
This is according to Officer in Charge of NICIL, Horace James.
James said, recently, that the new board was guided for the most part, by the forensic audit that was launched into the entity last year.
He reminded that the audit report which was prepared by Chartered Accountant, Anand Goolsarran, called for NICIL to be liquidated.
“After much consideration, we disagreed with it. And we decided that it should not be disbanded at this time.”
His opinion is also in sync with that of Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, who had stressed on several occasions that the entity is necessary and he does not see it being dissolved at any time.
James disclosed that the decision was taken for NICIL to carry out the role as a custodian and overseer of Government’s shares and interests. He said that in this regard, NICIL serves as a holding company for various subsidiaries and affiliates.
He said, too, that NICIL will play a development role involving capitalization, financial restructuring and management with respect to certain projects approved by Cabinet.
“So with that decision, the board continued to let NICIL carry out the functions with some modifications,” the Officer in Charge added.
He also revealed that one of the major modifications approved was in relation to a contentious Management Cooperation Agreement (MCA) between NICIL and the Privatization Unit.
James noted that with the former CEO, Winston Brassington, NICIL and the Privatization Unit operated as one entity. Brassington was also in charge of both NICIL and the Unit.
The Officer in Charge of NICIL informed the media that Government has decided for the Unit and NICIL to operate independently and to have their own Board of Directors.
Heading the Privatization Unit is Dr. Grantley Walrond. Other members of the Board are Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Patricia Bacchus, Jerome Khan, Capt.Gerry Gouveia who is a Private Sector Representative, and Grantley Culbard.
The Chairman for NICIL’s Board is Dr Maurice Odle. Other NICIL Board members are Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, and Head of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), Berkley Wickham.
With this move, he stated that the MCA was terminated as recommended by the forensic audit report.
It was on December 28, 2001, that members of the PPP Cabinet approved the Privatization Unit of the Ministry of Finance. That Unit was intended to assume the additional responsibility of providing management and administrative services to NICIL in keeping with the Management Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Finance, NICIL and the former regime as dated December 31, 2001.
The former Cabinet subsequently ratified the agreement at its meeting held on April 23, 2002. According to the agreement, the Privatization Unit was the authorized agent for the purpose of privatizing any of NICIL’s holdings as set out in the Privatization Policy Framework Paper (the “White Paper”) laid in the National Assembly in 1993.
It was also made the exclusive manager of NICIL for purposes of managing and administering all of the affairs of NICIL. By virtue of the appointment of the Privatization Unit as the manager of NICIL, the Executive Secretary and Head of the Privatization Unit were supposed to assume the position of Executive Director of NICIL.
NICIL, for its part, became responsible for collecting and accounting for all privatization proceeds, rents, dividends, and other income of NICIL, in the name of NICIL; utilizing and disbursing of the income of NICIL in accordance with the approval of NICIL’s Board; and the payment of a management fee to the Privatization Unit.
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