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    nicil@nicil.gov.gy
04
Jul 20

Dear Editor
NICIL notes with tremendous concern the press release issued by Navigant Builders, Inc (referred to as “Windsor Estates”) concerning its purchase of lands at Ogle and issues this release to clarify the surrounding factual matrix. Windsor Estates through its principal Danny Sawh engaged in negotiations with NICIL concerning the purchase of lands at Ogle from 2019 through to late February, 2020.

After the submission of detailed development plans, these discussions culminated in the execution of an agreement of sale for 30 acres of land at Ogle on February 21st, 2020, accompanied by a 20 per cent down payment in the amount of G$180,000,000. Windsor also participated in a sod-turning ceremony on February 27th, 2020, where a presentation was made by Windsor employee Mark Thomas.

Despite Windsor’s contractual obligations, it appears that on March 6, 2020, Windsor issued a press release stating that it had postponed its plans for the development at Ogle, this postponement having nothing to do with Windsor’s contractual obligations; Windsor’s contract specifically allowing it the latitude to delay its development plans by up to nine months.

On March 13, 2020, Windsor, in furtherance of its agreement with NICIL, paid NICIL by Scotia Bank cheque number 005868, surveyor fees for the land purchased. As part of Windsor’s agreement, the balance due on the contract is payable upon the production of a signed Vesting Order, which by the contract was represented by NICIL to be produced within three months of the date of execution of the agreement. At no time has Windsor ever written to NICIL to terminate its contractual obligations with NICIL, Windsor’s public statements about the delay in development having nothing to do with its contract with NICIL.

On June 19, 2020, one week after the Vesting Order was signed in accordance with NICIL’s contractual obligations (the Vesting Order being signed on June 11, 2020), in response to NICIL’s notification of the vesting, along with a request for payment of the balance owed, Mr. Sawh wrote NICIL asking that the transaction be held off until the current elections impasse is resolved due to financing constraints. This request for an extension of time clearly being applicable to remaining balance owed.

At no time did Windsor write NICIL to terminate its contract or indicate that it no longer wished to proceed with the transaction, instead, simply stating that financing was delayed due to the current elections situation.
NICIL at all times has complied with its contractual obligations with Windsor Estate, and finds it unfortunate that despite Windsor Estate’s vigorous negotiations to contract with NICIL through to February 26, 2020, and multiple payments made beyond that date, including after the elections, is now making statements which do not accurately reflect NICIL’s records.

Windsor currently owes NICIL substantial sums as a result of NICIL’s performance with the terms of the parties’ contract. NICIL expects Windsor to do the honourable thing and fully comply with its contractual obligations in the manner agreed by all parties, and suggests that Windsor engage NICIL directly, instead of attempting to litigate in the press.

Regards
CEO NICIL
Colvin Health London

Source: The Guyana Chronicle.

03
Jul 20

NICIL notes with tremendous concern the press release issued by Navigant Builders, Inc. (referred to as “Windsor Estates”) concerning its purchase of lands at Ogle and issues this release to clarify the surrounding factual matrix. Windsor Estates through its principal Danny Sawh engaged in negotiations with NICIL concerning the purchase of lands at Ogle from 2019 through to late February, 2020.

After the submission of detailed development plans, these discussions culminated in the execution of an agreement of sale for 30 acres of land at Ogle on February 21st, 2020, accompanied by a twenty percent down payment in the amount of G$180,000,000. Windsor also participated in a sod turning ceremony on February 27th, 2020, where a presentation was made by Windsor employee Mark Thomas.

Despite Windsor’s contractual obligations, it appears that on March 6, 2020 Windsor issued a press release stating that it postponed its plans for the development at Ogle, this postponement having nothing to do with Windsor’s contractual obligations, Windsor’s contract specifically allowing it the latitude to delay its development plans by up to 9 months.

On March 13, 2020, Windsor, in furtherance of its agreement with NICIL, paid NICIL by Scotia Bank cheque number 005868 surveyor fees for the land purchased. As part of Windsor’s agreement, the balance due on the contract is payable upon the production of a signed vesting Order, which by the contract was represented by NICIL to be produced within 3 months of the date of execution of the Agreement. At no time has Windsor ever written to NICIL to terminate its contractual obligations with NICIL, Windsor’s public statements about the delay in development having nothing to do with its contract with NICIL.

On June 19, 2020, one week after the vesting order was signed in accordance with NICIL’s contractual obligations (the vesting order being signed on June 11, 2020), in response to NICIL’s notification of the vesting, along with a request for payment of the balance owed, Mr. Sawh wrote NICIL asking that the transaction be held off until the current elections impasse is resolved due to financing constraints, this request for an extension of time clearly being applicable to remaining balance owed. At no time did Windsor write NICIL to terminate its contract or indicate that it no longer wished to proceed with the transaction, instead simply stating that financing was delayed due to the current elections situation.

NICIL at all times has complied with its contractual obligations with Windsor Estates, and finds it unfortunate that despite Windsor Estates’ vigorous negotiations to contract with NICIL through to February 26, 2020, and multiple payments made beyond that date, including after the elections, is now making statements which do not accurately reflect NICIL’s records.

Windsor currently owes NICIL substantial sums as a result of NICIL’s performance with the terms of the parties’ contract. NICIL expects Windsor to do the honourable thing and fully comply with its contractual obligations in the manner agreed by all parties, and suggests that Windsor engage NICIL directly instead of attempting to litigate in the press.

From: Desk of CEO NICIL

—–

Navigant Builders Cheques and receipt.

02
Jul 20

-$750M more to be released soon 

THE Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) received a much- needed bailout of $250 million from the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).

In a letter to President David Granger on May 15, Chairman of GuySuCo’s Board of Directors, John Dow, had said the sugar corporation was in a “dire financial crisis” with billions in debt, and insufficient finances to execute critical factory maintenance.

The Ministry of Finance in response to GuySuCo’s request for a bailout, had cited a $30 billion bond backed by NICIL’s assets and guaranteed by the Government of Guyana, which was secured through NICIL to retrofit and revitalise the three remaining sugar estates.

It is to this end that NICIL disbursed $250 million to GuySuCo under the syndicated bond. The funds were transferred to GuySuCo’s account, on Wednesday. “This sum represents a partial response from NICIL to GuySuCo’s request to government for a ‘bailout,’ and brings the total disbursements to GuySuCo from July 2018 to date to $9, 970, 759, 568; in addition to the close to 40 billion it has received from the government,” said NICIL.

NICIL, however, reminded GuySuCo that it should seek to resolve its financial challenges through professional engagements with the investment company and by extension the Government, rather than resorting to “petty disclosures” and “half-truths” in the press; none of which is providing the solutions to its myriad of problems.

“We strongly advise the Directors of GuySuCo to obey the terms and conditions of the bond and to seek to ensure compliance with same. In particular, we urge that it honours the reporting of its expenditure schedule to NICIL and the bond holders,” said NICIL.

NICIL will, in the “very near future,” make available a further G$750,000,000. This disbursement can only be possible when NICIL and GuySuCo engage in solutions-driven discussions about making GuySuCo a commercially viable entity.

Just Wednesday, the Stabroek News reported that there appears to be active consideration to bring the operations of GuySuCo to a halt and as a consequence layoff thousands of workers.

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has since dispatched a letter to the Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Harold Davis, seeking clarification on the report appearing in the media.

GAWU remains hopeful that the situation could be averted but holds that meaningful assistance could only come through the installation of a legitimate government, a product of the will of the Guyanese people.

GuySuCo has, however, been in financial turmoil for years, and according to Dow, in his recent letter, “despite improvements in the productivity of cane, GuySuCo’s sugar production for the last two crops has fallen short of expectations and the current COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems experienced in meeting the 1st crop 2020 production targets…As a result, the cash generated from operations cannot meet the ‘outgoings’, particularly when external funding has been difficult to obtain.

In referring to the condition of the sugar corporation, President Granger had said, “it is very unfortunate we are in this position. Throughout the tenure, we have been engaged in trying to resolve the issue of the industry.”

In executing its plan to resuscitate the industry, President Granger said government had to make “hard decisions,” which included the retrenching of workers. But, despite the scaling down of the industry and provision and future provision of government bailouts, the President said there is no guarantee that the corporation could produce sugar at world market prices and function economically.

“We have done everything possible to return the industry to normalcy and even profitability…we will continue to help and not send anybody home…we want an efficient sugar industry which can produce sugar at competitive prices,” said President Granger.

The idea is to compete with Brazil, Cuba and other “heavy” sugar producers, but in order for Guyana to do that, the industry needs to be economically viable and feasible.

Source: The Guyana Chronicle

01
Jul 20

The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) today credited Guysuco’s account with G$250,000,000. This sum represents a partial response from NICIL to Guysuco’s request to government for a ‘bailout,’ and brings the total disbursements to Guysuco from July 2018 to date to $9,970,759,568; in addition to the close to 40 billion it has received from the government.
NICIL wishes to remind Guysuco that it should seek to resolve its financial challenges through professional engagements with NICIL and by extension the Government, rather than resort to petty disclosures and half-truths in the press, none of which is providing the solutions to its myriad of problems.

We strongly advise the Directors of Guysuco to obey the terms and conditions of the bond and to seek to ensure compliance with same. In particular, we urge that it honours the reporting of its expenditure schedule to NICIL and the bond holders.

NICIL will in the very near future make available a further G$750,000,000. This disbursement can only be possible when NICIL and Guysuco can engage in solutions-driven discussions about making Guysuco a commercially viable entity.

We look forward to those discussions, and to reiterate our commitment to protecting the livelihood of Guysuco’s employees and the industry.

Download the Republic Bank- Transfer of Funds document here.

01
Jul 20

National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Wednesday credited GuySuCo’s account with G$250,000,000.

This sum represents a partial response from NICIL to GuySuCo’s request to government for a ‘bailout,’ and brings the total disbursements to GuySuCo from July 2018 to date to $9,970,759,568; in addition to the close to 40 billion it has received from the government.

“NICIL wishes to remind GuySuCo that it should seek to resolve its financial challenges through professional engagements with NICIL and by extension the Government, rather than resort to petty disclosures and half-truths in the press, none of which is providing the solutions to its myriad of problems.

“We strongly advise the Directors of GuySuCo to obey the terms and conditions of the bond and to seek to ensure compliance with same. In particular, we urge that it honours the reporting of its expenditure schedule to NICIL and the bond holders.

“NICIL will in the very near future make available a further G$750,000,000. This disbursement can only be possible when NICIL and Guysuco can engage in solutions-driven discussions about making GuySuCo a commercially viable entity.

“We look forward to those discussions, and to reiterate our commitment to protecting the livelihood of GuySuCo’s employees and the industry”.

Source: INews Guyana.

24
Jun 20

– NICIL says deals to finance $30B GUYSUCO bond

De facto Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, signed away 130 acres of prime lands situated on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) to several entities, all on the same day – June 11, 2020.

Information about the sales was posted and circulated on Facebook, with concerns that the Coalition Government may be engaging in a massive giveaway of lands before demitting office.

The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) responded to the matter, to give context to the sales and to state that Minister Jordan had no involvement in the selection process.
NICIL is the entity charged with handling investments on behalf of the state.

The first post appears to have been made by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C’)s Facebook page, which states: “The APNU+AFC is engaged in large-scale corruption and massive transferral of state lands. Here Winston Jordan signed off on the transferral of land to cronies of the coalition.”
Attached were photos of the vesting orders, signed off by Minister Jordan.

The lands were handed over to Bosai Minerals Group (Guyana) Incorporated (General Manager, Eric Yu); Premier Sales Incorporated; American Marine and Services Incorporated; Trinuyana Investments Incorporated (Director, John Aboud); Cardiology Services Incorporated; Supergraphics Enterprise (Owner, Eton Cordis); Navigant Builders (Owner, Danny Sawh); Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Incorporated (Director, Mike Elliot); GUYOIL (CEO, Renatta Exeter); and Earl’s Court Incorporated.

Kaieteur News spoke to a principal of one of the companies mentioned, who said that his company had made an initial payment earlier this year.

Another principal, Sawh, told Kaieteur News that he has not made any payments on the acreage for Navigant Builders, a subsidiary of Windsor Estates.

The post was shared hundreds of times on Facebook, including by the party’s general secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, and sparked discussion about whether the protraction of the electoral process may be part of a ruse.

This newspaper had reported just days ago that the Government is in a mad rush to legalise land deals for hundreds of acres of lands in prime locations on the ECD, and the circulated vesting orders began to mount suspicions over how so many acres of land were sold out in just a single day.

In its response, sent out late yesterday, NICIL called the PPP/C’s Facebook post misleading, stating that it rejects the aspersions and insinuations contained in the post.

NICIL posited that Jordan had no involvement in the selection of the investors. It also stated that Minister Jordan “is not a member of the NICIL Board nor is he involved in the day to day business of NICIL or the SPU.”

However, according to vesting orders, Jordan’s signature appears.

In a bid to give context to the sales, NICIL said: “We wish to remind the public that NICIL through the SPU, sold lands that were vested to it by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. NICIL received deposits for the lands commencing December 2019.”

It added that despite December being the commencement of the financial transactions, they were incomplete as the vesting orders were not signed and Gazetted, as the law requires.

NICIL said that it was necessary to have the orders Gazetted so that the investors could complete their payments, and so that NICIL could procure finances for the $30B GuySuCo bond.

“By now,” NICIL said, “the public must be aware that a $30 Billion bond backed by NICIL’s assets and guaranteed by the Government of Guyana was secured through NICIL to retrofit and revitalize GUYSUCO.”
“We wish to remind too, that from July 2018 to February 2020, NICIL has disbursed $9,720,759,568 to GUYSUCO to fund its Capital and Operational Expenditure,” NICIL said, following a request by GuySuCo for a Government bailout.

NICIL said that it recognised the urgency of GuySuCo’s request and sought to complete the land transactions, noting that “GUYSUCO and the bond holders were in the process of ironing out some matters so that further disbursements could be had.”

That is why, the agency said, it became necessary to regularize the vesting orders.
Up to press time, the orders were not published on the website of The Official Gazette.

Source: Kaieteur News

24
Jun 20

– land transactions being completed to assist cash-strapped GuySuCo

THE National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has rejected claims that Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, signed off on documents for the transferal of land.
The accusations against the minister was being circulated on Facebook and was titled, “APNU+AFC engaged in large-scale corruption … as Winston Jordan signed off on the transferal of land …”
“We wish to state clearly that the Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan, had no involvement in the selection of the investors, is not a member of the NICIL Board, nor is he involved in the day-to-day business of NICIL or the SPU (Special Purpose Unit),” said NICIL in a press statement.

The company reminded the public that through the SPU, they sold lands that were vested to it by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

NICIL received deposits for the lands commencing December 2019, however, the transactions remained incomplete since the vesting orders were not ‘signed and gazetted’ as required by law and this meant that the remaining sums could not be paid over by the investors.

The need for expediency in the payments for land, however, arose after the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) made public its financial crisis.

It was reported that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other prevailing national conditions have rendered the national treasury incapable of providing a bailout to the “cash-strapped” GuySuCo, but all hope is not lost, as the company is expected to benefit from $1.5 billion, paid to NICIL for the sale of land.

Following GuySuCo’s recent request to the government for a bailout, NICIL was approached to assist the company.

“By now, the public must be aware that a $30 Billion bond backed by NICIL’s assets and guaranteed by the Government of Guyana was secured through NICIL to retrofit and revitalise GUYSUCO. We wish to remind too, that from July 2018 to February 2020, NICIL has disbursed $9,720,759,568 to GUYSUCO to fund its Capital and Operational Expenditure,” said NICIL.

In a letter to President Granger on May 15, close to a month ago, Chairman of GuySuCo’s Board of Directors, John Dow, said the sugar corporation was in a “dire financial crisis” with billions in debt, and insufficient finances to execute critical factory maintenance.

“Despite improvements in the productivity of cane, GuySuCo’s sugar production for the last two crops has fallen short of expectations and the current COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems experienced in meeting the first crop 2020 production targets. As result, the cash generated from operations cannot meet the ‘outgoings’ particularly when external funding has been difficult to obtain,” Dow said as he painted a vivid picture of the financial challenges facing the sugar industry.

GuySuCo’s condition could dwindle even further if “crucial creditors” are paid, said Dow, noting that if the corporation takes this recourse the company would be out of cash before the second week of June.

“It is also common knowledge that GuySuCo and the bond holders were in the process of ironing out some matters so that further disbursements could be had. But NICIL, having recognised the urgency of the request, sought to complete the land transactions. It therefore became necessary to regularise the Vesting Orders,” said NICIL.

The company assured that along with government, they are committed to safeguarding the livelihood of the sugar workers and the industry.

In referring to the condition of the sugar corporation, President David Granger had said, “it is very unfortunate we are in this position. Throughout the tenure, we have been engaged in trying to resolve the issue of the industry.”

“We have done everything possible to return the industry to normalcy and even profitability…we will continue to help and not send anybody home…we want an efficient sugar industry which can produce sugar at competitive prices,” said President Granger.
The idea is to compete with Brazil, Cuba and other “heavy” sugar producers, but in order for Guyana to do that, the industry needs to be economically viable and feasible.

Source: Guyana Chronicle

24
Jun 20

With the government’s move to transfer at least 10 properties to private companies earlier this month coming under scrutiny, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) yesterday said that it was simply finalising the sale of some of GuySuCo’s assets to help assist the cash-strapped corporation.

Orders for the transfer of the properties, made on June 11th, 2020 and signed off by de facto Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, are for large swathes of land on the East Coast of Demerara and the Demerara River Bank.

According to the documents, seen by Stabroek News, the purchasers are Premier Sales Inc.; American Marine and Services Inc.; the Chinese-owned Bosai Minerals Group Incorporated; Cardiology Services Inc.; Trinuyana Investments Inc.; Navigant Builders Inc.; and Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Inc (CMEI).

Read more here. | Source: Stabroek News

24
Jun 20

NICIL notes with concern a misleading Facebook post “APNU+AFC engaged in large-scale corruption … as Winston Jordan signed off on the transferal of land …”

We wish to remind the public that NICIL through the SPU, sold lands that were vested to it by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. NICIL received deposits for the lands commencing December 2019, however, the transactions remained incomplete since the vesting orders were not ‘Signed and Gazetted’ as required by law and this meant that the remaining sums could not be paid over by the investors.

Following GUYSUCO’s recent request to the Government for a bailout, NICIL was approached to assist the company. By now, the public must be aware that a $30 Billion bond backed by NICIL’s assets and guaranteed by the Government of Guyana was secured through NICIL to retrofit and revitalize GUYSUCO. We wish to remind too, that from July 2018 to February 2020, NICIL has disbursed $9,720,759,568 to GUYSUCO to fund its Capital and Operational Expenditure.

It is also common knowledge that GUYSUCO and the bond holders were in the process of ironing out some matters so that further disbursements could be had. But NICIL, having recognized the urgency of the request, sought to complete the land transactions. It therefore became necessary to regularize the Vesting Orders.

We wish to state clearly that the Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan had no involvement in the selection of the investors, is not a member of the NICIL Board nor is he involved in the day to day business of NICIL or the SPU. We reject completely the insinuations and aspersions contained in the post.

We hope that right thinking citizens will see that the Government and NICIL are committed to safeguarding the livelihood of the sugar workers and the industry.

-END-

14
Apr 20

THE David Granger Administration is being hailed for its decision to make agricultural lands available to ex-sugar workers, who, to date, are reaping the benefits.

Through the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL), farming lands in Wales, Region Three, are being leased to former sugar workers, small businesses and investors, with the former given high priority.

According to the Site Supervisor of the former Wales Estate, Haribhajan Persaud, there is a “mad rush” for lands with strong interest being shown by the ex-sugar workers, prominent large-scale businessmen and foreign investors. It was noted that unlike other closed factories, Wales took a different approach owing to the fact that it no longer has a factory.

According to a statement issued by NICIL on Wednesday, lands are being leased for agricultural purposes with ex-sugar workers and small-scale farmers reaping the benefits. “Several of the former sugar workers who have secured lands here are into 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,” Persaud said.
Cash crops are being planted on arable lands, which are fertile, while those into cattle rearing are doing this on marginal lands.

Among some of the ex-sugar workers who have secured lands for agricultural purposes are Jaipaul Thakur, Owen Phillips, Mohamed Rasheed, and Lindon Phoenix, all of whom engage in cattle rearing. Former sugar workers like Harry Ketwaroo and Dhanpaul Samaroo are farming cash Mohamed Rasheed said when the estate closed, he thought it best to engage in rearing to garner an income for himself and family, and, as such, he applied for marginal lands. “I opted to get into cattle rearing, as I found that it is what has the money that I can secure to take care of myself and family. After finding out that the lands were available, I decided to make the best use of it by getting into cattle rearing. I am deeply thankful for the land as it has afforded me an opportunity to continue earning,” he said.
The Estate Supervisor explained that while farming is being done, distribution of lands has not been completed due to the fact that applications are still being processed. Currently, the demands outweigh the available lands.crops.

These ex-sugar workers had all worked with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for in excess of 15 years. Samaroo, an ex-sugar worker, in applauding government’s move to make lands available, said he is financially empowered to live comfortably despite no longer being employed by GuySuCo.

Another farmer, Harry Ketwaroo, said having worked with GuySuCo for most of his life, he was excited to have secured a plot of land to plant mixed crops. “When many thought that it was the end for us because we all lost our jobs, I recognised that I can get into mixed-crops production and after the lands became available, I took full opportunity of it and, today, I am doing so well with my farming and earning enough to take care of myself and family,” Ketwaroo said.

t was disclosed that of the 7,943 acres of land that the estate owns, NICIL set aside 1,000 acres for its own cultivation of rice. Persaud explained that originally, it was NICIL’s idea to focus on seed paddy in an effort to assist the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB); however, it has ventured into rice production. Since 2017, it has cultivated five crops.

In January, President David Granger announced that a State Land Resettlement Commission will be established, should the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition be re-elected to office. Such a commission, he explained, will address the needs of former sugar workers, who were displaced as a result of government’s decision to “right size” the sugar industry in its quest to make it viable.

The establishment of the State Land Resettlement Commission, he said, will provide another avenue for income generation for those affected. “We are going to establish a State Land Resettlement Commission so that people who have been put out of work because they had been in the sugar plantations will be given access to land so that they can start all over again,” he further assured.

Source: The Guyana Chronicle.

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