Marriott Deal: NICIL is a rogue company – Opposition Leader

Leader of the APNU, David Granger.
Leader of the APNU, David Granger.

[] – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has signaled its intention to challenge in the National Assembly, the usage of state funds by the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Ltd (NICIL).

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

When questioned about the issue at the Party’s weekly press conference recently, APNU’s Leader David Granger said that NICIL does not have the authority to disburse state funds.

“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,” Granger said.

He further noted that the APNU will ensure that the operations of NICIL are brought within the purview of the National Assembly in October.

“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.”

Meanwhile, officials are very confident that the Marriott Hotel deal will reach financial closure by the end of this year and that the hotel and entertainment complex will be opened by the third quarter of 2014.

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

However, the investor in the Marriott remains a secret and no revelation has been made as to whether there is a deadline for financial closure.

At a recent press conference, Head of NICIL and Chairman of the Atlantic Hotel Inc (AHI), Winston Brassington refused to divulge the name of the investor or the country which the investor is from.

He also refused to reveal the date of the deadline for financial closure on the project. AHI is hoping that Republic Bank will provide US$27M to the project, while the private investor will provide US$8M in the US$58M hotel.



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