CJ orders GGMC to justify $3B loan to Housing Sector; CH&PA asks ‘what loan’?

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City Councillor Ranwell Jordan [left]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang on Friday ordered the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to show the exact purpose of a recent $3B loan from the mines commission.

The decision was made by the Chief Justice after City Councillor Ranwell Jordan had filed a motion in the High Court Challenging the constitutionality of the of the loan given to the CH&PA.

Ranwell also sits on the Board of the Housing Authority. However, when contacted on Saturday February 28, a senior CH&PA official said that there is yet to be any conclusion of any loan arrangement between the CH&PA and GGMC.

The official indicated that the CH&PA has not received any disbursement from the GGMC thus far.

Meanwhile, a similar motion was also filed by Executive Member of the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) Desmond Trotman with his being directed to the GGMC.

WPA Executive Member Desmond Trotman

In his application to the Court, Jordan states that the CH&PA held a single, Statutory Meeting in the month of January 2015, – this was on Thursday January 29, 2015 – but at no time during the deliberations of that meeting or any other meeting of the CH&PA was the issue of any investment proposal put to the meeting or decision taken on the terms and conditions of any loan from the GGMC or from any other person.

“The CHPA did not authorise any of its officers to sign on its behalf any Loan Agreement for three billion dollars or any other sum from the GGMC or from any other person during the month of January, 2015,” said the City Councillor.

He also pointed out that under the Housing Act, the CH&PA does not have the provision to enter into a loan agreement of any sort with the GGMC or any other institution for that matter so the CH&PA was “in breach of and ultra vires section 10 of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Act Cap. 66:02.”

The loan agreement between GGMC and CH&PA was announced on January 29 in a joint statement, which noted that CH&PA has one year to repay the loan.

The GGMC in defending their position stated that its “undertaking to provide a loan to the CH&PA was done purely as an investment opportunity given that the rate offered was 5%; 3.2% greater than the rate currently enjoyed at the commercial banks. In addition, it was seen another opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the nation.”