Govt spent nil on Sanata Complex after selling to QAII

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* Kaieteur News peddling that lie since 2008 – Dr Ramroop

(The following article is reprinted from today’s Guyana Times)

“I want to state categorically that after the lease, the Government of Guyana did not spend a single cent on the  clean-up or any other expense that went into rehabilitating or reconstruction of any of the buildings (in the Sanata Complex at Industrial Site Ruimveldt).”
This was the reaction of Chairman of the Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII), Dr Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramproop, who over the weekend responded to the continued spate of “inaccuracies and false” assertions that have been peddled by the Kaieteur News ever since 2008 when Guyana Times was launched.
He noted that Kaieteur News has repeatedly published the accusation that Government had in fact spent millions of dollars on the Sanata Complex before it was sold to QAII – a notion that has been repeatedly debunked by QAII and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Government’s holding company that executed the privatising of the Sanata Complex.
QAII paid in excess of half a billion dollars for the complex which has since proven to be one of the more successful privatisation ventures in recent times.
In a news article published recently, the Kaieteur News said that the Government had utilised some US$5 million (GY$1 billion) to rehabilitate the Sanata Textiles Complex before it was sold to QAII at a cost of US$3.4 million.
According to the QAII in a recent missive to once and for all clear the air, “the fact is all repairs, rehabilitation and other works were done by the QAII Group to the tune of millions of dollars, after acquisition of the lease as the complex at the time of privatisation was in a state of disrepair.”

State of the Complex on acquisition - At the time of acquisition, the entire Complex was in a state of disrepair: fences had fallen apart; drains were blocked; roads were inaccessible; vegetation was overgrown; garbage was prevalent; equipment and installations were vandalised beyond repair; the buildings were infested with termites and unfit for occupation; there was also flooding in some sections despite it being the dry season

State of the Complex on acquisition – At the time of acquisition, the entire Complex was in a state of disrepair: fences had fallen apart; drains were blocked; roads were inaccessible; vegetation was overgrown; garbage was prevalent; equipment and installations were vandalised beyond repair; the buildings were infested with termites and unfit for occupation; there was also flooding in some sections despite it being the dry season

Over the years, Kaieteur News has repeatedly published a number of blatant lies in relation to the privatisation of the Sanata Complex and its principal.
In a recent attempt to malign the Sanata Complex privatisation deal, the Glenn Lall-owned Kaieteur News published the litany of lies and libellous accusations under a front-page banner headline “Govt spent US$5 million to rehab Sanata, then sold it to Ramroop for US$3.4 million – Audit report reveals”.
That article had relied on an audit conducted by former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran, but this too did not substantiate the claims made by the publication since it  is a matter of public record that the clean-up of the Sanata Textiles Complex, inclusive of asbestos removal, was done during the lease and after the purchase when QAII took possession of the complex and was totally funded by QAII.
The reporter, who wrote the article at the time, did not adhere to even the scantiest standard of responsible journalism.
In fact, all that the entire audit said about the Sanata purchase, which Kaieteur ironically published, was: “By Order No. 40/2010 dated November 29, 2010, NICIL sold 18.891 acres of land and buildings and erections at the Plantation Ruimveldt (Sanata Textiles) to Queens Atlantic Investments Inc (QAII) for $689 million (US$3.4 million). The note on NICIL’s publication reads: After being advertised for sale but no proposals was received, in mid-2007, a proposal was received from QAII for the development of the compound with a US$27 million investment plan.
It has also been pointed out that the recent repetition of the falsehoods by Kaieteur News coincidentally appeared in an article which suggested that the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) had launched an investigation in a well belonging to QAII in the Sanata Complex. The newspaper suggested too that millions had been owed to the utility company.
This has since proved to be completely unfounded.
QAII owns the well that is located in the compound and according to QAII’s Dr Ramroop, the water utility company has never owned the piece of infrastructure which also supplies scores of nearby residents with potable water – free of cost.
The investigation reported on by Kaieteur News, was in fact initiated by GWI on the very day that Guyana Times reported that Atlantic Fuels Inc – a company which has as one of its Directors in the person of the GWI Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles – obtaining a fuel licence under controversial circumstances.

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