The government’s asset and investment arm NICIL on Saturday said it was able to mobilise US$1.1 billion in investments for Guyana over the past year.
NICIL’s Board of Directors in a statement said NICIL is on the way to unleashing its full investment potential capacity.
NICIL stated that among the revenues that NICIL has secured over the past year are the US$3 million from Bosai; US$10 million from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and a significant amount from several other investors from deals to build hotels, condominiums, restaurants and the specialty hospital project, among others.
“There are more investments that we will continue to generate through NICIL for this country and I can assure you that it will continue to increase tremendously,” Chief Executive Officer Colvin Heath-London projected.
The Board boasted that the investments secured through a multitude of investment projects, payment of fees and other investment-related costs will help spur significant economic growth and development nationwide.
“We have seen massive inflow of investment value coming and this was primarily possible through the prudent and excellent negotiations that were executed under our young and vibrant management team,” Board Director Dr. Grantley Waldron was quoted in a statement as saying.
The Board applauded its Chief Executive, saying he has been on a sustained push to lure lucrative investments into the country.
“The Board continues to be marveled by the level of investments coming in, while we are impressed with the number of persons who seek to do business here,” NICIL stated.
NICIL said it is executing its agenda and mandate professionally, thus ensuring that Guyanese at all levels benefits significantly from the various levels of investments, as we are seeing various types of investments, which argues well for Guyana and Guyanese,” they added.
NICIL said some 3000 plus jobs are being created, thus resulting in the general public having access to more money, which ultimately will rebound in increased business among other sectors. Grantley said that much more is planned and NICIL will champion the cause of investments and social responsibility.
“The investors who have been expressing interest are not only foreigners has we have Guyanese at home and abroad who also have interest and are serious about investing,” Heath-London stated.
NATIONAL Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has been meeting with executives of the Russian aluminum giant, RUSAL, to discuss dividends owed by its subsidiary, Bauxite Company of Guyana Limited (BCGI), in which the Guyana Government has a 10 per cent share.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, meanwhile, has criticised claims by RUSAL executives that the company has not been making a profit during the 15 years that it has been operating in Guyana.
Head of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London, said NICIL last met with the company last Thursday, and is expected to meet again next Wednesday as the discussions continue.
“We are now in discussions with RUSAL. I cannot elaborate on those discussions but you would know in due time what has materialised out of those discussions,” Heath-London said. Heath-London said that it was out of the consideration of the government’s shares in BCGI that prompted NICIL to, last week, pay the 326 Guyanese employees that were fired by the company their February salaries.
“NICIL is a shareholder in [BCGI] and it is important that we ensure that while the discussions are going on that they [the workers] are looked after,” Heath-London related.
He said that the venture, which cost over $30M, was a one-off payment and not something that NICIL is looking to continue on a long term basis. The employees were fired on February 2, without notice by BCGI, which at the same time, suspended operations at its Kurubuka mines in Region 10.
The employees for one month now have been vigilantly maintaining a blockade across a section of the Berbice River which prevents the company from shipping any material or equipment from the mines. The employees have long since been convinced that the company is shutting down its operations entirely, and is attempting to ship as much as possible out of Guyana before doing so.
BCGI has not responded to an email for a response on the allegations.
Aside from NICIL, over the past year BCGI has come under investigations by the Department of Labour, for labour and union-related issues, as well as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) which had been investigating the company for abuses of tax concessions.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) have also been looking into operations at the company as part of a wider assessment of the country’s entire bauxite industry.
Heath-London relayed that he is “not aware that RUSAL has been paying dividends, if there are dividends to be paid,” during the time he has been at NICIL, upholding statements made by BCGI Executive, Vladimir Permyakov, last year February, that BCGI had not been paying dividends to the government on its shares. At the time Permyakov had said that the company was not making any profit, notwithstanding operating in Guyana since 2006.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, however says he does not buy those claims of no profit.
“That statement has always been made by a number of investors coming to Guyana. Some who have eventually left, they say ‘oh we’ve operated 15 years and we haven’t made a profit’. We don’t buy that nonsense. Profit seekers aren’t that giving, you won’t stick around 15 years and you aren’t making a profit,” Jordan stated. He noted however, that monies from the bauxite industry does not come under the remit of the Ministry of Finance as it is not paid over to the consolidated fund. Jordan acknowledged, however, that greater monitoring of the bauxite sector is needed to ensure that the companies are remitting to Guyana what is owed.
“When it comes to our own oversight and supervision, we haven’t been very great in that department. And partly being because of human resources issues,” he explained.
BCGI is one of three foreign-owned bauxite mining companies in Guyana that have been granted licenses to operate; the other two being the Chinese-owned Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc. in Linden and the newest company, Guyana Industrial Minerals (GINMIN), a subsidiary of American company, First Bauxite.
NICIL’s meetings with RUSAL comes months after Bosai was noted for remitting US$3M to NICIL on dividends owed.
After setting the standards with his Florida-styled gated community, Windsor Estates, on the East Bank of Demerara, developer Danny Sawh, is set to construct another one on the East Coast.
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), which handles investments on behalf of the state, has reportedly secured 30 acres around the Ogle area, where a bypass road linking the East Bank to the East Coast is supposed to land.
The lands were once under sugarcane cultivation.
Over 800 acres between Ogle and Lusignan has been opened for upscale development, NICIL has announced.
Already, a Trinidad-based Syrian developer, John Aboud has signalled his intention to build an AC Marriott Hotel, while another group has secured 21 acres and planning to construct two hotels – including Hilton-branded one.
Sawh’s East Bank project was seen as ambitious initially, but today is home to lawyers, businessmen, and retirees.
Sawh, according to NICIL, said that Windsor Estate East Coast Demerara project will cost US$83M and take a period of five years to develop. It will include high-end business offices, restaurants and condominiums, among other things.
Sawh said that he is pleased with the economy as it relates to real estate and the current business climate. He revealed that he got started in business in 1990, and while the Windsor project was established in 2013, there has been a crazy rush for homes.
Sawh insists that he is a trendsetter whose company motto is ‘Experience a New Way of Living’. Currently, there is a waiting list for Windsor homes.
Sawh, who is based in New York, disclosed that the percentage of persons who are seeking homes in Guyana has passed some 1200 percent.
The challenges on the first project were many. Officials sought bribes, and when he refused, he was delayed in several of his requests.
He, however, commended NICIL and its team for what he said has been their very high professional standards, adding that being someone who is firm on doing business above board, he was pleasantly surprised to see the level of professionalism that was extended to him.
“NICIL deserves congratulation as they sought to ensure that as a Guyanese I benefitted from all and any opportunities that were available. I am truly impressed with the people at NICIL and would like to state my appreciation on record,” he said.
He added, “I am a fighter, I grew up seeing my mother not giving up even to when things seem very difficult and it was that kind of spirit that kept me going as I refused to give up”.
Explaining his company Navigant’s objective, he noted that this is to introduce a new quality of living in Guyana.
The Windsor Estates East Coast Development will present a futuristic premium residential community, providing a superior living environment parallel to the elegance of any other residential gated community in North America.
Shaw stressed that Navigant’s principals have noted that the Windsor Estates East Coast Development will target affluent nationals, foreign nationals as well as business executives that will be relocating to Guyana or professionals that would take up residence in Guyana for an extended period. This market segment includes high-income professionals seeking a technologically advanced environment for living and recreation.
The Windsor community will offer a recreational and commercial park that will be built to support the development and the commercial zone will include banks, medical facilities, a modern shopping area and exquisite restaurant offerings.
He expressed the firm view that the overall business outlook is very strong, as Navigant maintains a proven track record in its Windsor Estates East Bank Development, and many returning Guyanese as well as offshore workers have been requesting similar type residential facilities.
The Guyanese businessman said that some 500-odd persons would be involved in the construction stage at any given moment, adding that their employment would last for a minimum of five years, as it is the period for the construction.
He said that construction is expected to begin in a few weeks, declaring that Guyana is open to business by locals as well.
“I am a Guyanese and just like the foreigners I sought to invest in my homeland, I have no regret as I firmly believe that in the very near future, Guyana can be seen as little Dubai with the enormous developments and advancements that would be taking place,” Sawh opined.
A sod turning will be held today at Ogle and will see Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, delivering the feature address.
WINDSOR Estate and government’s holding company – National Industrial & Commercial Investments Ltd (NICIL) will, on Thursday, turn the sod for the opening up of a new housing scheme at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
In a media notice, NICIL said Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Jaipaul Sharma, will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony. According to NICIL, Danny Sawh – Developer of Windsor Estates, is an overseas-based Guyanese investor with over twenty-four years of residential and commercial real estate as well as construction development experience.
He is also the owner of Stonewall Contracting Corporation of NY. Stonewall was at one point one of the largest Caribbean-owned general construction firms on the entire Eastern seaboard of the US. Mr. Sawh is a Guyanese and very passionate about Guyana’s development, having singlehandedly spearheaded the Windsor Estate development, he is eager to showcase his company’s project plans for the creation of sustainable attractive communities in his homeland, NICIL stated.
Navigant Builders Inc., was incorporated on June 29, 2012 under the Companies Act 1991 in the Republic of Guyana. Navigant, the developers of Windsor Estates headquartered at Bel Air Park, Georgetown, is a subsidiary of Stonewall Contracting Corporation in College Point, New York. Stonewall has been in business since 1990 and has completed numerous high-profile, award-winning public and private projects ranging from US$100,000 to US$40,000,000 including new schools, courthouses, underground train stations, hospitals, theaters, playgrounds, police facilities, public housing, a multimillion-dollar high-end restaurant in Rockefeller Plaza in NYC and a US$3.5M high-end residential property in Westchester, New York. In recent weeks NICIL has turned the sod for the construction of three major hotels at Ogle.
Some 900 persons received instruments entitling them to occupy houselots in Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice), says Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Dr. Grantley Walrond.
In a statement from NICIL today, Dr. Walrond praised NICIL’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colvin Heath-London, for his “visionary abilities” in the regularisation of squatters in the region.
“Almost every young person will tell you that they are mostly interested in land as that is one of the burning issues that we encounter whenever having discussion. Therefore, the approach by Mr. Heath-London to have residents regularised in Region Ten is an excellent initiative that we from the Board should commended him for,” Dr Walrond noted.
He added: “…We are determined and committed to providing the required support and assistance in ensuring that the NICIL head is supported and provided with the required resources and enabling environment to continue executing his responsibilities and mandate in the most professional manner.”
The Chairman said that NICIL is chartering a “very impressive and well-chartered course”.
Just recently, the Guyana Standard reached out to Heath-London seeking clarity after it was revealed in the Official Gazette that lands totalling 1.3 acres were transferred to Lindeners.
The CEO told this publication that the transferring of lands in Region 10 is nothing new, and that it is part of the Land Regularisation Project. He confirmed that it not a case of acquisition where lands are given away willy-nilly.
“You may have been living on a portion of land for two, three generations and you’re being regularized. That is what land regularization is mainly about. So, you might have been in possession and you’re just regularizing,” he said.
Heath-London noted that in some cases, persons would have applied for over 25 years and were not successful in acquiring the lands legally. The CEO said that persons had to pay for the lands, as well as for surveying and legal fees.
“It’s not free; nothing is free,” he told the Guyana Standard.
A Guyana Chronicle report on February 9. 2020, stated that the residents all paid $33,000 each for their land.
By Jared Liddell
NATIONAL Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), in collaboration with Caribbean Marketing Enterprises Incorporated (CMEI), launched its US$2M Agro-Processing Centre, at Wales Estate, East Bank Demerara. The centre comes as an initiative to create a job market for the sacked sugar workers of the Wales estate, as well as promote, process and package locally-grown agricultural products.
Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for Rural Affairs, Valarie Patterson-Yearwood, said that since the closure of the estate in 2017, NICIL has leased lands to former sugar workers, which they use for agricultural activities. She said that this project is the perfect opportunity for those famers, since it is geared towards providing significant employment for former sugar estate workers.
“It is obvious that several of the former sugar workers who have secured lands are interested in cash crops where they plant mainly passion fruits and citrus, while some are doing cattle rearing, as they seek to continue creating employment for themselves.”
The minister noted that the decision to close the estates, beginning with the Wales Estate, was one that the government had made due to the fact that the industry was not sustainable. She said that persons were not aware that GuySuCo – the previous owners of the land that made up the Wales Estate, were in severe debt. She stated that the coalition government had to find some additional billions of dollars of bailout money to keep the sugar industry afloat. Considering the turmoil in the sugar industry, government had to also take drastic measures which included reducing the labour capacity at the various sugar estates.
She further stated that government has since embarked on a project to restructure the industry through innovation and prudent investments, this agro-processing centre, she noted, would be one of the major projects the government will roll out in order to accomplish that.
Operations at the new processing facility will include, sorting, grading, washing, chilling, drying, packing and cool-storage of several staple crops such as eddoes, cassava, sweet potato, yams, plantain and breadfruit, and a variety of local fruits.
NICIL’s Business Development Officer, Rachael Henry, said that as part of NICIL’s vision to change the way things are done in the agriculture sector and to support forward-thinking agro-processors, the organisation has had its ears on the ground as well as observing the anomalies in the value change system. NICIL has invested in advanced and quite contemporary agro-processing equipment which will be used to facilitate agro-business in the new agro-industrial path. NICIL has submitted 200 acres in the Wales Estate to the establishment of the path.
“This project represents NICIL’s vision to change as we utilise those same lands, which were once demarcated for sugarcane, to produce something else, something tangible as well, something that expresses revolutionary and transformative change for the people of Guyana.”
Henry said that as custodians to the land depository, our plan is to address the constraints that are present in the current value chain, one such value strain has been the sustainability – NICIL has made two foot prints on this constraint.
Caribbean Marketing Enterprises Incorporated Principal, Mike Elliott, said that his company, through the public-private partnership with NICIL, looks forward to the opportunity to be involved with the agriculture sector, as it is a channel to not only provide jobs for the people of Guyana, but also to market and share the diverse products Guyana has to offer.
“We are happy to bring a few different products to the market. We would certainly use the products throughout the region, products that you guys have in the country are vast, and there is a huge demand for those products, and it is our job to figure out how we, as a team, come up with the best plan to get your products to market. We’re gonna work with local and international companies to hire and create jobs to get these products to market.” Elliott said.
As has been the trend, the PPP/C is looking for every conceivable opportunity to criticize the coalition government, as a means of keeping their daily faltering electoral campaign alive, as well as their hopes of attracting enough support votes, for a hoped-for return to power.
This is expected, but not from a party which always felt that they had their base supporters ‘under lock’, with their numbers firmly in their pocket. 2011, and 2015, election results would have totally erased such a belief from their mental security, that they will always be both in office and in power, forever. The fact is – times have changed, and are continuing to change, because even their constituents have been realizing that their country needs a new and different kind of governance that must be inclusive, and which must work for the benefit of ALL Guyanese.
It would seem that NICIL’S recent Foreign Direct Investment scoop has clearly upset party leader Bharat Jagdeo and his party cohorts. And one can understand why Jagdeo and his crew are so grudging – because of the transparent and successful manner of the entity’s negotiations with Triniyuana, the foreign entity that has decided that Guyana is excellent for doing business, despite the deliberate propaganda spread of Jagdeo, alleging that the business climate under the coalition government, and particularly since the treachery of the NCM, has had very negative effects on the country’s business climate. Of course, Jagdeo’s PSC comrades, had joined him in peddling such a vile and wicked message, intended to make the David Granger – led administration look bad, with the aim of heightening socio-economic tensions.
In time, such criminal intent and lies HAVE ALL FAILED, AND BACKFIRED; so much so, that the Guyana Manufacturing Services Association(GMSA) representatives were very much present at the sod turning ceremony for the NICIL – successfully- led deal that sold a little over two acres of formerly owned GuySuCo land, in the Ogle locale, sight for the proposed construction of the AC brand Marriot hotel.
Editor, Again, the NICIL’S Colvin Heath-London has demonstrated what it means to work in the BEST INTERESTS of his country, in such transactions, in terms of securing the best deal for country and people. Not only was the land for sale to Triniyuana legitimately evaluated, as is required before sale, but that according to media reports, it was done on the “essential market rates’’, while also looking at the “present value to arrive at the purchase price”. In other words, this was no sale or give away at pepper corn prices as what had been obtained with lands sold to those well-known cronies and friends of the PPP/C. Better yet, it was, by far, many times over, transparent, and commercially transacted, than the disgraceful underselling of the PradoVille 2 lands, which deal, totally criminal and shady, had been done without any such legitimate steps taken, before being sold. One can understand why Irfaan Ally is before the Courts, on nineteen criminal charges.
One must further examine the benefits that will accrue from NICIL’S land sale, for the construction of the AC Marriot, which the PPP/C has labelled a “notch below” the original Marriot brand; yet, pointed out that the latter is present in twelve European countries, and North America. Here is the PPP/C’s pungent smell of grudge, of trying to degrade the quality of the brand. Editor, it only fair for the PPP/C to answer the question, as to how have such a substandard has been able to become established within those very popular European destinations, and elsewhere, for quite a while.
Of course, Guyanese labour will be utilized in the construction phase, in addition to a permanent staff when finished and opened for business. We all will remember the shameful putdown of the Guyanese work force when the PPP/C Marriot was being built. I have always disputed such a gross insult, fuelled and supported by a PPP/C controlled –state media, as Guyanese construction workers have been known to be part of mega building projects, especially in the Caribbean.
Unlike the PPP/C- built Marriot, which origins were at best veiled and shady, and which its sponsors evaded media questions – until the stark truth of state involvement became evident – the coalition government is not investing a penny of tax payers money, neither is any one, or persons, being used as fronting for such an activity. In fact, we are again, advised by Triniyuana, that on completion, Guyanese can buy into the Trinidad stock market, for purposes of shares.
For an opposition party, natural in its notoriety for its dirty fake lies machinery, and criminal disinformation, and which is seemingly bent on implying an illegality on the part of the Heath-London – led NICIL, must be reminded that NICIL has been functioning and executing business in accordance with its mandate, unlike the inexplicable and dubious pre-May 2015 NICIL. Thus, there is no hint of malfeasance, since its steps in completing all transactions since, inclusive of this most recent of the sale of the land at Ogle for $52M, from the time that the land had been advertised for sale, to its eventual negotiated sale, has been transparent. This is unlike the PPP/C and the deception of the constructed Marriot, which debt, the present government had to assume, as one of the numerous inherited liabilities from a disastrous PPP/C governance.
The Heath-London’s leadership of NICIL, has brought to the fore his modern management techniques, with a background of international experience in the dynamics of challenging and complex boardroom scenarios and is continuing to do for Guyana, what the PPP/C FAILED MISERABLY to do – WORK IN THE BEST INTEREST OF GUYANA. Hats off to Heath-London as he continues to work in the best interest of Guyana. Even as the sod has been turned for the AC Marriot the Guyana Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Inc. (CMEI) is set to build two branded hotels on 20 acres of land at Ogle one of which will be Hilton-branded, which puts paid to the lies of the PSC that due to “uncertainties” economic activities have slowed.
There will be the turning of the sod this afternoon to start the construction of a US$75M, 150-room hotel at Ogle, East Coast Demerara. The hotel to be named AC Marriott, will take 30 months to complete, with Trinidadian businessman, John Aboud, as the investor.
CEO of Trinuyana Investment Inc., John Aboud
The land would be in the vicinity of where the old headquarters of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), at Ogle is located. It will also reportedly be close to where a bypass road linking the East Bank Demerara will be built.
According to an invitation from the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, will deliver the keynote address.
NICIL is the same state-owned company which built the US$51M, 197-room Marriott Hotel at Kingston. That has been filled to capacity as a result of the current oil activities in Guyana. The country has been seeking additional quality hotels.
AC Marriott is said to be a subsidiary of Marriott International.
According to NICIL, it recently signed an agreement with Trinuyana Investments Incorporated of Guyana to develop a “world class, iconic, select service, internationally branded Hotel – AC Marriott Hotel”.
NICIL said that the project is already underway with the commencement of geo-technical works.
“The construction of the hotel will bring additional rooms to add to the national hotel stock, which will (help) stimulate the local economy through additional employment opportunities and business development.”
NICIL said that Trinuyana Investments Incorporated intends to target business travellers to Guyana, especially those linked to Guyana’s nascent oil and gas sector.
The new hotel also wants to target ExxonMobil (Guyana) headquarters, which will be situated in proximity to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle.
An artist’s impression of the façade of the AC Marriott Hotel planned for Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
“Trinuyana Investments Incorporated principals are confident that the proposed development will boost the existing architectural and landscape ambience of the Ogle area while providing a sustainable design approach, ensuring that the space remains a unique, iconic, Caribbean-wide destination.”
Also set to address the sod-turning will be Chief Executive Officer of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London.
According to NICIL, an initial 400-plus jobs will be created during construction, with some 200 permanent ones upon completion.
NICIL’s Privatization Specialist (Acting) Rachael Henry disclosed that the hotel will be constructed over four floors.
She disclosed that her agency and the CEO of Trinuyana Investment Inc (Guyana and Trinidad), John Aboud held lengthy discussions before arriving at the decision to construct the hotel.
Henry said that the hotel will have several amenities. Among them conference, office and some state-of-the-art living facilities, which he said would be integrated into the hotel complex.
“This is the culmination of negotiations that NICIL had with this company and the result is a major brand name hotel coming to Guyana so that all can benefit from it, as it certainly will boost our tourism and ultimately our country revenues,” Henry said
CEO of Trinuyana, John Aboud, according to the statement from NICIL, said that he is excited over the fact that the project will finally be rolled out, stressing that the work of NICIL was significant in ensuring that the hotel project becomes a reality.
He disclosed that he was very impressed with the manner in which NICIL and their team conducted the discussion, stressing that NICIL sought to secure the best possible deal for Guyana.
He disclosed that he was eyeing Guyana for a number of years, but about three years ago felt confident enough to move ahead with the project. He pointed out that while they don’t have major personnel on the ground as yet, he foresees this being a reality in early March, noting that they anticipate construction commencing in a few months.
Aboud, who NICIL said heads a major investment company in Trinidad and Tobago, pointed out that he fell in love with the numerous opportunities that exist here. He stated that Guyana is poised significantly to benefit significantly from what he dubbed as its rapidly growing tourism market.
“After visiting here a few times and seeing the numerous opportunities that exist, I decided to invest in buying some land, as I see that there is a need for such investment to further propel Guyana’s tourism,” Aboud said.
He said that the first-class hotel will cater for both business and tourism-related visitors.
He revealed that the first cost would be to the tune of US$75 million, stressing that another significant amount of money is expected to be pumped into the hotel as they seek to take it to the acceptable international standard.
Aboud further revealed that the hotel, which will contain 150 rooms, is a five-star hotel, noting that the new brand is one that is fresh and is the latest being managed by Marriott.
Meanwhile, Heath-London noted that the people can expect NICIL pursuing a number of opportunities that will yield significant revenues and benefits for the country.
He stressed that his team had engaged Trinuyana and is satisfied that their investment is ideal and most importantly, timely.
“We are very pleased with the investment that Mr. Aboud and team would be bringing to Guyana and are very confident that the government and people of Guyana will certainly benefit from this major hotel investment,” Heath-London stressed.
THE National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and Trinuyana Investments Incorporated of Guyana will, today, turn the sod for a world-class, select service, internationally-branded Hotel – AC Marriott Hotel on the Ogle Airstrip Road.
NICIL signed the agreement with the firm headed by Trinidadian, John Aboud, recently, a release from NICIL said. The sod turning ceremony is expected to see Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan and CEO of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London, speaking at the event which is expected to provide an initial 400 plus jobs during construction and some 200 permanent jobs upon completion.
NICIL’s Privatisation Specialist, Racheal Henry, is quoted in the release as saying that the hotel that will be constructed is the AC Marriott, which is expected to have some 150 rooms and will be constructed over four floors. She disclosed that her agency and the CEO of Triniyuana Investment Inc. (Guyana and Trinidad), John Aboud, held lengthy discussions before arriving at the decision to construct the hotel. Henry said that the eagerly-anticipated hotel will have several amenities. Among the facilities are conference rooms, offices and some state-of-the-art living facilities, which he said would be integrated into the hotel complex. “This is the culmination of negotiations that NICIL had with this company and the result is a major brand-name hotel coming to Guyana so that all can benefit from it as it certainly will boost our tourism and ultimately our country’s revenues,” Henry is quoted as saying.
For his part, Aboud said that he is excited over the fact that the project will finally be rolled out, stressing that the work of NICIL was significant in ensuring that the hotel project becomes a reality. He disclosed that he was very impressed with the manner in how NICIL and their team conducted the discussion, stressing that NICIL sought to secure the best possible deal for Guyana. “The discussions were very lengthy and at times challenging but ultimately we understood as they wanted the best deal for Guyana and that is fine as every agency and or business wants what’s best for them,” he said.
He disclosed that he was eyeing Guyana for a number of years but about three years ago, he felt confident enough to move ahead with the project. He pointed out that while they don’t have major personnel on the ground as yet, he foresees this being a reality in early March, noting that they anticipate construction commencing in a few months.
Aboud, who heads a major investment company in Trinidad and Tobago, pointed out that he fell in love with the numerous opportunities that exists here. He stated that Guyana is poised to benefit significantly from what he dubbed as its rapidly-growing tourism market.
“After visiting here a few times and seeing the numerous opportunities that exists, I decided to invest in buying sone land as I see that there is a need for such investment to further propel Guyana’s tourism,” Aboud said.
He said that the first-class hotel will cater for both business and tourism-related visitors. He revealed that the first cost would be to the tune of US$75M, stressing that another significant amount of monies is expected to be pumped into the hotel as they seek to take it to the acceptable international standard. Aboud further revealed that the hotel, which will contain 150 rooms, is a five-star hotel, noting that the new brand is one that is fresh, and is the latest being managed by Marriott. He noted that the 150-room hotel will serve further in boosting the tourism agency development, especially around the Marriott hotel.
He added that the hotel site is a strategic location for the future, stressing that the hotel’s presence will further enhance and greatly boost the economic activity taking place at Ogle. He said that with regard to negotiations, there were several challenges but is very thankful as like them, NICIL wanted to secure the best possible deal for the Guyanese people.
“I had a lot of significant confidence in the investment opportunities that currently exists in Guyana and is determined to maximise those investment opportunities, thus we are seeing the reality of this hotel right now,” Aboud said.
Aboud went on to express excitement about the deal being wrapped up, stating that the relevant agencies responsible for a number of decisions are expected to make several decisions shortly, thus further helping to boost the planned construction of the hotel, which he said will help to enhance and market Guyana’s tourism product immensely.
Meanwhile, Heath-London congratulated John Aboud and team, noting that the people can expect NICIL pursuing a number of opportunities that will yield significant revenues and benefits for the country. He stressed that his team had engaged Triniyuana and is satisfied that their investment is ideal and most importantly timely. “We are very pleased with the investment that Mr. Aboud and team would be bringing to Guyana and are very confident that the government and people of Guyana will certainly benefit from this major hotel investment,” Heath-London stressed. The construction of the hotel is expected to take some 30 months.
Speaking to reporters today after the sod turning for the hotel’s construction at Ogle, Mr. John Aboud said after the upcoming elections, Guyana will still be here and therefore his investment will still be here.
The Trinidad and Tobago business magnate who is heading the investment to build a second Marriott Hotel in Guyana has made it clear that he has no interest in politics and his investment here is all about business and investment opportunities.
Speaking to reporters today after the sod turning for the hotel’s construction at Ogle, Mr. John Aboud said after the upcoming elections, Guyana will still be here and therefore his investment will still be here.
He was responding to questions about whether he was concerned that he started negotiations with NICIL to bring the hotel to Guyana over the past year, as the country faced upcoming elections.
“I have no interest in politics. Did I do something wrong? I would hope that after this elections Guyana will be here. So I have absolutely no interest in politics and I have absolutely no interest in who wins the elections. That is not my business. My business is real estate development and there is an opportunity in Guyana and I believe whoever wins, this opportunity will not go away”, Aboud said.
Aboud’s company is investing US$75 million to build the 150 room hotel at Ogle on just over 2 acres of land.
He said he decided to invest in a hotel complex in Guyana because of the existing investment climate and the opportunities that will come.
The businessman also gave the assurance that the Marriott brand will be at the Ogle hotel, shooting down claims by the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo that the Marriott company may not have given approval for the use of its name.
Mr. Aboud said “a Marriott will be here and I can assure that. We have otherwise signed off and its now just a question of the franchise agreement and how much commission you have to pay, what are the royalty fees, those are the things that we are going through now”.
The Chief Executive Officer of NICIL, Colvin Heath-London said Guyana is fertile soil that is ready for investment. He said NICIL will continue to push for investments in Guyana and the negotiations will be done in the best interest of the country.
“NICIL is in the vanguard of luring investors into Guyana and next week, there will be a similar ceremony for another state-of-the-art hotel to be built in Guyana. Some 300 temporary and 175 permanent jobs will be created when that other project is launched. As such it is safe to say that with the two projects, some 700 temporary jobs would be made available with another 375 jobs after”.
The AC Marriott project intends to hire 400 workers during the construction phase and another 200 as permanent staff on completion of the project.
The project has a duration of 30 months and the company has indicated that it will be pushing for all of the staff members during construction and after to be Guyanese.
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