One day after Navigant Builders relinquished 30 acres of lands which were controversially transferred during the elections impasse by the coalition government, another developer has announced intentions to also rescind.
Managing Director, Dr. Mahendra Carpen
Yesterday Cardiology Services Inc. announced it had since 2017 reached out to NICIL by way of an Expression of Interest to purchase various lands in Ogle (the “Property”) for the purposes of building a hospital.
The company’s Managing Director is well-known cardiologist, Dr. Mahendra Carpen.
It disclosed that in February of 2020, an Agreement of Sale was signed.
“In June 2020, without the knowledge or participation of Cardiology Services Inc, the property was vested in Cardiology Services Inc. though the financial terms of the transaction had not been completed.”
According to the company, given the circumstances surrounding the vesting of the property, it has “agreed to rescind the Vesting Order without prejudice and revert title of the property to NICIL so as to enable the Government of Guyana to fulfill its mandate to ensure all lands are reclaimed unimpeded.”
Cardiology Services Inc. said yesterday that it looks forward to “working with NICIL and the Government of Guyana to achieve their mutual goals of building a state of the art private hospital at the appropriate time.”
This development follows on a similar decision by Navigant Builders on Thursday. There were questions this year after it was announced by the Coalition government and NICIL that several plots of the Ogle lands, formerly under sugar cane cultivation have been sold to developers.
This happened shortly before the March 2nd elections. Both Navigant and Cardiology Services are saying that the lands were transferred to them despite the payments not being completed.
The highly questionable transactions involved the transfer of the lands, which are located near a major planned highway that would link the East Coast to the East Bank transportation network.
In addition to Navigant Builders, the other companies which conducted transactions were Supergraphics (5.058 acres); GUYOIL (1.500 acres); the Residences at Earl’s Court Incorporated (10.281 acres); Navigant Builders Incorporated (30.000 acres); Premier Sales and Services Incorporated (5.015 acres); Trinuyana Investments Incorporated (19.678 acres), Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Incorporated (21.096 acres), American Marine Services Incorporated (20.000 acres) and Cardiology Incorporated (8.000 acres).
A number of the developers above had indicated plans to build hotels, with sod-turning days before the March 2 elections. The government, under President Irfaan Ali, has said it will investigate transactions involving State properties that took place after the December 21, 2018 no-confidence vote, which effectively toppled the Coalition Government.
– rescinds vesting order, requests properties be re-issued in more transparent manner
NAVIGANT Builders Inc, the developers of Windsor Estates, on Thursday, announced that it was postponing plans to continue its Ogle Development Project and cancelled all payments to National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
Navigant Builders, in February last, had planned to construct a premier luxury, commercial and residential community at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
The intention was to develop 30 acres of land which were once used for sugarcane cultivation. The investment was pegged at US$84 million.
“In June 2020, unknown to Navigant, NICIL vested the property to us which was subject to our agreement of sale; though we had indicated, in writing to NICIL, that we cannot move ahead with the said project until such time as the elections crisis was resolved,” President and CEO, Danny Sawh, a US-based Guyanese Entrepreneur said.
In light of the cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the transfer of title, Sawh, in a press release stated “we hereby announce that we would like to rescind the Vesting Order and revert such title back to NICIL, thus to enable the Government of Guyana to reclaim all lands and re-issue such properties in a more transparent manner.”
The US-based Guyanese entrepreneur said his company intends to embark on a signature urban mixed-use development on the East Coast of Demerara, featuring luxury residential properties and Class A office space in the near future and looks forward to working with NICIL and the Government of Guyana in this endeavor.
The sod turning ceremony at the site of the construction for the Windsor Estates Housing Development
Windsor Estates, which was undertaking a project at Ogle, East Coast Demerara to build luxury residential properties and Class A office spaces, has announced that it is handing back the title and the land to the Government for it to be reissued in a more transparent manner.
Windsor Estates had planned the project under a company called Navigant Builders, which immediately after the elections announced that it was postponing plans to continue the development and cancelled all payments to NICIL, the government’s investment arm.
In June 2020, the company said NICIL vested the property in its name without its knowledge, even though it had indicated in writing to NICIL that it could not move ahead with the project until the elections crisis was resolved.
“In light of the cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the transfer of title, we hereby announce that we would like to rescind the Vesting Order and revert such title back to NICIL, thus to enable the Government of Guyana to reclaim all lands and re issue such properties in a more transparent manner,” the company stated in a press release which was also issued by NICIL.
The company said it intends to embark on a signature urban mixed-use development “in the near future and looks forward to working with NICIL and the Government of Guyana in this endeavor.”
In its press release, Cardiology Services Inc. stated that “without the knowledge and participation of Cardiology Services Inc. the property was vested in Cardiology Services Inc. though the financial terms of the transaction had not been completed.”
The Vesting orders were signed by the former Minister of Finance under the APNU+AFC Government Winston Jordan.
— new CEO says squatting will not be encouraged, persons must go through system
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has issued a stern warning to persons who have taken up residence and erected structures on its land, particularly in areas along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
In a recently published notice, NICIL warned that it has not authorised anyone to “occupy, remain or construct” any structures on vacant lands which were previously canefields south of the Railway Embankment in Vryheid’s Lust, Success and Chateau Margot.
“Any person(s) who enter, occupy or remain on those lands are trespassers and NICIL is hereby requesting that they immediately vacate and remove therefrom all erections or buildings constructed thereon forthwith,” the notice says, adding that all lawful steps will be taken if such persons do not comply with the order.
When contacted, newly-appointed interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NICIL, Radha Krishna Sharma explained that the agency has received reports of squatters taking up residence on what is essentially NICIL property.
“The Ministry of Housing engaged the communities to let them know. Housing has to be looked at in a structured way. We just can’t have circumstances in which persons squat here and squat there. It has to be in a regulated manner.”
“So, the Ministry got involved, we got involved, because they’re not lands where you can just put up a (structure). There are 50,000 applications that they’re processing. Things have to be done in a legal manner so that the infrastructure can be put in place. In the best interests of communities, we can’t encourage this.”
This publication had previously reported that mass squatting was taking place in several villages along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD). Guyana Times understands several illegal structures were erected on Government reserves in Good Hope and Enmore, ECD.
Residents in the aforementioned areas told Guyana Times that persons from out of the areas have erected shacks along the reserves. In some cases, these shacks are erected in one day. A Government official when contacted told Guyana Times that this behaviour will not be tolerated and the matter will be addressed as soon as possible.
He noted that the Government has not authorised the grabbing of land in those communities. In 2015, there was a similar occurrence in Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD). The then APNU/AFC Government had also stated that no permission was given for squatters to take up Government reserves.
Last month, the Housing and Water Ministry also served Cummings Lodge/Sophia squatters with warning notices as it reiterated its zero-tolerance policy for the illegal act of squatting. In a statement, the Ministry said that it is urging persons to desist from illegally occupying State Lands. It noted that it has received reports of new structures being built on reserves within the Cummings Lodge/Sophia environs.
As a result, the enforcement arm of the Ministry served contravention notices to squatters of Cummings Lodge Phase 2, East Coast Demerara, Cummings Park, and the Section C Entrance.
According to the Ministry, these persons were not occupying the named locations at the time of the agency’s last inventory, which means they recently moved into the locations and started construction.
The Ministry had also said that the illegal occupation of State Lands at Cummings Lodge continues to hinder officials from carrying out the planned budgeted projects, and had appealed to the squatters to immediately cease all activities and allow the systematic allocation process to resume.
Since his appointment last month, Housing Minister Collin Croal has already made it clear that there would be a strict zero-tolerance policy against new squatting under the PPP/C Administration and that this Administration would be working towards ensuring existing squatters have a housing unit at the appropriate time.
Croal had disclosed that there was a backlog of some 68,000 housing applications, which he inherited from the APNU/AFC Government. He noted that the handling of house lot distribution saw new applications being favoured over existing ones thus contributing to the backlog.
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