Marriot Deal: NICIL lashes back at Opposition leader

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Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington.
Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The National Industrial and Commercial Investment Ltd (NICIL) has lashed out at Opposition Leader David Granger for his recent criticism of the state owned investment company’s involvement in the construction of the Marriott Hotel here.

Granger had signaled his intention to challenge in the National Assembly; the usage of state funds by NICIL outside of what he claimed it is authorized to.

Thus far, NICIL is the only investor in the Marriott Hotel project, while talks are ongoing with a secret investor.

At a recent press conference by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Granger said, “We are talking about funds that belong to the Guyanese nation and we have said from the outset that NICIL does not have the authority to disburse funds which belong to the Guyanese nation except through the contingency fund. It is not an independent entity, it belongs to the state and as far as we’re concerned, no organization can disburse $4M or $8M or enter into these agreements without the permission of the National Assembly.”

He added, “This is a rouge company and we cannot tolerate this sort of behavior in which government funds, state funds, the peoples’ money can be disbursed. What if the money is lost? What if it’s a scam? We don’t know this mystery investor is. Is it Mr. Jagdeo? Is it somebody from Alaska? We don’t know. This is the state money we’re talking about. So we are going to take a firm line in this matter.”

However, NICIL in a statement on Monday noted that the attack by the APNU’s leader, on NICIL and its head Winston Brassington is “merely his part to play in the combined opposition’s continued games of charades which disguises their true motive of derailing development in Guyana.”

NICIL further noted that “Nothing in Mr. Granger’s statement is new and continues to be subjective as he applies a convenient interpretation of NICIL’s functions in order to serve APNU’s current agenda of opposing every act of development undertaken in this country because it is what the opposition does.”

It was made clear that NICIL, a creation of APNU Member of Parliament Carl Greenidge under the People’s National Congress (PNC) regime, continues to demonstrate accountability under the PPP administration than was ever done by Greenidge.

The release which was disseminated by NICIL’s Communication’s Manger Julianna Hutson stated that NICIL’s involvement in the Marriott project is very much a part of its “league” to invest in projects that are good for NICIL and the country as a whole and deemed Granger’s assertions of “scams’’ or “money lost’’ are clearly ill-informed, demonstrating the opposition’s lack of interest to understand the project’s financing.

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