The National Industrial and Commercial Investment Inc (NICIL) is again looking to head to the courts in the United Kingdom (UK) in an effort to recover the US$5M owed to Guyana.
This was confirmed yesterday by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Harmon said that NICIL rejected an offer from Hong Kong Golden Telecom Limited (HKGT) in relation to the outstanding US$5M for the purchase of government shares in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT).
The offer is apparently way below what is owed to Guyana.
Harmon said that as a result, NICIL has decided to head to the court.
He said, “I know that they have actually been pursuing legal assistance to be able to go to that level. The contract stipulates the jurisdiction where the matters are to be dealt with—UK. I know NICIL has actually gone through a certain process of identifying lawyers, and it is a question of the cost involved, and that is what they have to come back to Cabinet with.”
Government’s 20 percent shares in GTT were sold to the Chinese firm in 2012. The deal was entered into by the PPP/C administration but only US$25 million of the agreed US$30 million was known to have been paid.
In March 2016, Harmon and a delegation travelled to China to engage in discussions regarding the outstanding money.
Harmon had reportedly obtained documents which showed that the money was paid over prior to the APNU+AFC Coalition taking office and efforts were underway to track the money. However, NICIL subsequently said that it had not received the outstanding balance. The government later clarified that no such documents were received.
This is not the first time NICIL decided to head to court.
In December 2016, it was revealed that NICIL was on the verge of preparing to begin arbitration to recover the outstanding balance. NICIL officials had said that consultations with a US lawyer were done. However, it was later decided that NICIL would engage with the Hong Kong company HKGT on a one-on-one basis.
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