By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Member of Parliament and Shadow Public Works Minister, Joseph Harmon has expressed no faith in the negotiating skills and competence of Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington.
According to Harmon, Brassington through NICIL is sharing away the assets of Guyana as gifts. He was responding to revelations that NICIL gifted portions of Guyana land to China Railway Engineering Group, which was considered as a construction partner in 2013 for the Amaila Falls Hydro Project.
The land was reportedly transferred to the Company with no fee attached. At a press conference today, Friday June 20, Harmon said this revelation outlines why the Opposition has always called for all contracts to be made public.
“What is playing out is in fact that they have a fixed contract for certain sums but variations at the bottom … Rather than adding the price to a total sum of contract, it is being kept at a steady figure,” the Opposition MP reasoned.
“This is why I have always said that Mr Brassington must face the music, because what in fact is happening is that they have actually robbed tax payers money due on the transfer of a property,” he said, adding that “When a company transfers or sells from one Company to another, there are certain fees that have to be paid to the registrar which are known as registrar fees as well as taxes to GRA.”
He recalled that Brassington had explained that the project had originally cost over US$11 million but was reduced to just over US$8 million. In this regard, he argued that the land was sold for almost US$3 million and is now being called a gift.
“What they are doing is hoodwinking the Guyanese people…They are sharing land, quarrying prosperities and all sorts of things.”
In relation to the land at Friendship, which NICIL claims it has a title for, Harmon challenged Brassington to produce that title.
“NICIL has no title to give to the Company as a gift and I dare Mr Brassington to come out and display that title.”