State owned New Amsterdam sports complex to be sold

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The Coalition APNU/AFC Administration continues to execute its fire sale of state- owned assets, the latest identified for sale being the Bermine Sports Complex and Recreational Centre.

Part of the Bermine Sports Complex and Recreational Centre

According to a public invitation over the weekend, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), is soliciting interested persons to undertake either a full sale or lease of the property, sitting on half-acre of land situated in Queenstown, New Amsterdam Berbice.

General Information on the property for the interested party is available upon the payment of a registration fee. NICIL has since also cautioned that it is not bound to accept the “highest or any bids.”

The announced sale/lease of the Bermine Sports Complex has effectively shunted plans by the National Sports Commission, which in March of this year said it is looking to resuscitate the abandoned sports complex in New Amsterdam, Berbice to provide another avenue for youth development.

Those plans were announced by the Government’s Department of Public Information.

The complex, once the sporting hub of New Amsterdam, was used to facilitate events such as wedding receptions, parties, and sporting activities; and it even housed a large pool.

Formerly owned and operated by the Berbice Mining Enterprise Limited (BERMINE), the complex is currently under the control of NICIL.

Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, and a team from the NSC, along with the Mayor of New Amsterdam, during a visit to the facility in June, had told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the Ministry of Education would be writing to NICIL in an attempt to acquire the building.

Jones had said the building would cost approximately $200 million to rehabilitate, but once rehabilitated, the sports complex would be able to generate revenue.

GuySuCo’s Divestment 

Only recently, a Special Purpose Unit was set up under the rubric of NICIL in order to sell off assets owned by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

As part of the ongoing divestment of the assets belonging to the beleaguered GuySuCo, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, this past week announced that Colvin Keith-London has been appointed head of that SPU.

That Unit has been tasked with the divestment of GuySuCo’s assets, inclusive of its lands; and according to Harmon, Keith-London will be based at the Kingston Headquarters of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).

That Unit was first announced by the Agriculture Minister when, in recent months, he presented to the National Assembly a policy paper on the future of the sugar industry.

That Unit was allocated some $130 million “to provide for the establishment of a SPU to manage the reform of the sugar industry”, when the Government, in July last, requested supplementary funding from the national coffers.

The National Assembly has since approved the money for the Unit to be headed by Keith-London.

At the time that sums of money were being approved for the Special Purpose Unit, substantive Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in seeking to apprise the House, had indicated that Government was unclear as to what it is looking to rake in from the sale of the GuySuCo assets, since the assets still needed to be properly evaluated.

He had explained that the purpose of the Special Purpose Unit under the rubric of NICIL would be for the divestment and privatisation of certain parts of GuySuCo.

Some $60 million have been approved for the company to hire an accounting firm in order to lead the divestment process, including updating valuations of assets.

GuySuCo’s properties will be transferred to the Special Purpose Unit for divestment by that outfit.

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