AFC says “PPP cabal” controlling NICIL funds

AFC says “PPP cabal” controlling NICIL funds

The Alliance For Change (AFC) has accused the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) of directly controlling some GUY$50B in the coffers of the state holding company NICIL and pledges to soon push for an investigation of the entity’s assets.

This was relayed by AFC chairman Khemraj Ramjattan at a news briefing on Friday who said that they understand that a “cabal” of government officials was in control of NICIL’s purse strings.

“This money, which is being held in NICIL’s account, accrued from the sale of assets that were owned by the people of this country, as a result the money should have been placed in the people’s treasury. Instead the government which authorised NICIL to act as the sale agent has pocketed the money in account under their control.         

This has resulted in a situation where the elected representatives of the people cannot monitor or even question how the money is being used. Failure by the government to add this money to the national treasury has resulted in it being cut from the 2012 budget,” Ramjattan stated.

According to him, reputable sources have analysed that over $50B of the people’s money is supposed to be in the NICIL account and many more billions are being held in other accounts under the control of the PPP administration.

He pointed to sales such as the government’s shares in GT&T which should be US$30M, land sale to GBTI and other unspecified deals as proof of the holdings while adding that the last tabled NICIL report  in parliament in 2003 showed that there was some $33B in its account.

“What also is supporting evidence in a circumstantial way is the tight lip of the Ministry of Finance and also Winston Brassington (former head of NICIL). Silence we are also using here, this not being a criminal trial, as evidence indeed that they got huge sums there and that’s why they’re keeping it away from the public’s scrutiny and especially from the parliament’s scrutiny,” Ramjattan said.

Finance Minister Dr. Ahsni Singh had stated on Monday that NICIL was operating within the law and was governed by the Companies Act. He also noted that there were other state companies that the opposition has not been calling on to have their monies included in the Consolidated Fund.

“NICIL’s operations are completely consistent with what is provided for in the Companies Act and one cannot argue that NICIL’s funds should come into the Consolidated Fund and not argue the same for any other government entity,” Dr. Singh told reporters.

Ramjattan said the AFC will be calling for an investigation of NICIL’s operations as soon as the parliamentary Economic Services Commission is reconfigured to reflect the combined opposition and government ratio in the House.

“This is the Alliance for Change approach to the question, APNU might very well say they have a different approach to it but we think that APNU is going to support our approach that thereafter we would have gotten the reconfiguration completed we then call the very first investigation under the Economic Services Sector Committee and it will be NICIL and we’re gonna order papers and documents and even the Minister of Finance to come and answer questions there and hopefully the cameras will be there.

“We could be found wrong you know … it is enlightened guesswork because the honesty is not forthcoming from the government so we’re going to pressure them and that is the function of a scrutinizing opposition,” the AFC chairman said.

The APNU already has a motion on the Order Paper for next week’s sitting of the National Assembly calling for the “urgent commissioning of an independent financial audit” of the operations of NICILand the Privatisation Unit.

The party is also calling for a detailed report on the disposal by sale or otherwise of all state assets entrusted to those two entities, their outstanding bi-annual reports and annual audited accounts.

It is seeking to have these all done on or before June 1.

(Demerara Waves – May 4,2012)

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Comments

  • Johan  On May 7, 2012 at 2:21 am

    The characters who operated within NICIL ought to know the rquirements when dealing with government property, particularly with disposal of assets through financial arrangements. If there is a constitutional act. that states that companies must retain moneys received through sale of government assets, then let the minister provide such literature. How unethical these people can get? the peoples’ money must be placed where it belong, not in an account where only a group of cronies have access to.it! when are we as a nation will get it right? why must this group continue to do as they like with our money? I say to Mr. Ramjatan keep the presure on, lets get the truth, where are the moneys, what is it doing for the people of this country, who authorised the spending of it, and why it was not paid into the consolidated fund where it could be utilised for the betterment of this nation.

  • B.Forde  On May 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    HA__HA! This NICIL issue (I hope you ensure Mr.Brassington doesn’t disappear),when it comes to the sale of property and shares of the cooperative Bank, and the seizure and sale of legitimate coops. lands etc., will really be interesting.It will expose the treatment;the marginal suppression and hostility handed down to the cooperative sector. And to think, our country is recorded as a tri-sectorial economy!!!! There are over 500 million dollars in minority shares and plenty in floating money locked in the GNCB. I hope you boys do your homework and do it well. WE—-WE are watching and waiting.
    IN keeping, JOHAN (May 7,above)If,there is a democracy in this country—-and this gov’t was democratically elected(so they say). Why the secrecy about the PEOPLE”S FUNDS?. WHY SHOULD ONE POLITICAL PARTY/NICIL control funds belonging to all the people of Guyana? Isn’t this strange? Is there not a cause for people representing the various shades of interest, as expressed in the National Elections be the ingredient of such a committee?——–That looks DEMOCRATIC to me. There are lots of others ETB, The clothing industry,……..So much money outside the mainstream…..so much skulduggery/unscrupulous behavior/trickery…….my country is in a serious dilemma ———only a dedicated combined opposition can check-mate this—-and cause a pure positive course for all Guyanese—-not one where the rich is getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

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