¬ By Mikaila Prince
Not only did the National Industrial Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), in a response yesterday to a Kaieteur News article, fail to address key concerns on 30 prime acres of Ogle lands, but the agency claimed that payments made by the developer, Navigant Builders Incorporated, as having been effected when they were not.
In an article published yesterday, Kaieteur News had exposed how NICIL issued 30 acres of prime Ogle lands to housing developer Navigant Builders- which built the East Bank-located gated community, Windsor Estates- despite the company suspending the project on three separate occasions.
The highly questionable transactions covering the transfer of the lands which are located near a major planned highway that would link the East Coast to the East Bank transportation network were conducted even though Navigant Builders made no payments to NICIL for the land.
NICIL, in a statement to the press yesterday afternoon, said that Navigant Builders had responded to an Expression of Interest (EOI) put out by NICIL in 2018 and submitted a proposal for 80 acres of vacant lands at Ogle, East Coast Demerara, to build a residential housing community including a bank, shopping plazas, restaurants and medical facilities.
“NICIL,” the statement said, “after conducting its due diligence accepted the proposal and offered Navigant a 30-acre plot within the Ogle development. Navigant accepted all the terms and conditions of this offer on February 3rd, 2020.”
The agency claimed that on March 13th, 11 days after the March 2, General and Regional Elections, Navigant paid the initial fees required, causing the agency to complete the other phases of the transaction including having the vesting orders signed by the Minister of Finance and gazetted.
The agency said: “To date, NICIL has not received any official retraction of the acceptance of the offer from Navigant”, while adding that should Navigant communicate its retraction in writing, they are prepared to take all the necessary steps to undo the transaction in the best interest of both parties.
In addition, NICIL released what were purported to be three cheques issued by Navigant Builders for initial fees. One cheque showed a payment of $912,000 (February 27, 2020); another cheque showed a payment of $180M (February 27, 2020), while the third $912,000 (March 13, 2020).
When the housing developer was contacted yesterday by this publication, a senior officer reiterated Navigant Builders paid no monies to NICIL. While the company had in fact issued the cheques toward NICIL for the land deal, it emphasized that it had stopped payments made on all three cheques.
NICIL also failed to address other key issues in Kaieteur News’ article, most notably the fact that in a letter dated on June 16, NICIL wrote to the estate developer that Navigant needed to complete its payment of some $924M for the 30 acres of lands before the lands could be transferred and subsequently gazetted.
“The following account summary,” the letter had noted, “reflects the total balance due on your account as regards the aforementioned transaction… On settlement of the above-mentioned balances, the Order to transfer title in the name of Navigant Builders Inc., will then be sent for publication in the Official Gazette and Title to the property will be effected.”
The Navigant Builders’ senior officer was adamant that not only had the company stopped payment on the three cheques, but the balance payment requested as a prerequisite to finalise the transaction had not been made.Despite this, a vesting order dated June 11 was gazetted on June 30, awarding the prime lands to the company.
The company was not aware that it had the lands transferred already since on June 11, because as far as it was concerned, it had suspended the transaction.
It meant that NICIL would have likely breached a number of regulations by transferring the lands without the transaction not being completed and payments being made.
The vesting order, which was signed by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, also stated that 123 acres of lands were given to eight other developers.
These companies include Supergraphics (5.058 acres); GUYOIL (1.500 acres); the Residences at Earl’s Court Incorporated (10.281 acres); Navigant Builders Incorporated (30.000 acres); Premier Sales and Services Incorporated (5.015 acres); Trinuyana Investments Incorporated (19.678 acres), Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Incorporated (21.096 acres), American Marine Services Incorporated (20.000 acres) and Cardiology Incorporated (8.000 acres). A number of the developers above had indicated plans to build hotels, with sod-turning days before the March 2 elections.
Aug 11, 2020The Americas Board was informed about the decisions of the FIBA Executive Committee regarding the FIBA Calendar for World and Senior Continental Competitions in case the November window of the...
Aug 11, 2020
Aug 10, 2020
Aug 09, 2020
Aug 09, 2020
Aug 08, 2020
Clement Rohee has a letter in the August 1, edition newspapers. When you read it, you cannot help but think that Rohee is... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]