In-house Attorney and Company Secretary of National Industrial Commercial Investments Limited, (NICIL), Arianne Mc Lean, has produced documents to show that the State-owned privatization unit has ownership of the disputed wharf facility located at Lot 1 Mudflat, Lombard Street. The lawyer supplied the document to the Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of City Hall on Wednesday. Including among the documents which Mc Lean supplied is a supplemental deed of lease agreement dated January 2002 between Guyana National Engineering Corporation, (GNEC) and Guyana National Industrial Company, (GNIC).
She explained that GNEC had a transport for the plot of land since 1985. The property was nonetheless leased to GNIC for a period not exceeding 15 years.
“The substantive lease is from 1995 and the supplemental lease is from 2002 for an additional ten years.”
“So that would be from 2002 to 2012?” McLean was asked by Chairman of the COI, retired Justice Cecil Kennard.
Mc Lean told the commission that NICIL acquired the property in 2002 by virtue of a vesting order.
She explained that a vesting order is legal method of transferring legal title of a property from party to the next as part of an equitable remedy. She explained, too, that there is no transport in the name of NICIL, only details of the transfer which are in the vesting order.
According to Mc Lean, GNEC was dissolved in May 30, 2002 and transferred to and vested in NICIL. To this day, she said NICIL is still the owner and has not leased the riverfront property to any other company.
The lawyer explained, further, that GNIC the current lease holder, has been in default; the company had continued to occupy the place but stopped paying rent since 2010.
Questioned about the rental of the property to Quick Shipping Inc, Mc Lean said that she knows about the company but cannot say how it acquired a lease to the wharf facility from the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.
As it stands, Mc Lean says only NICIL has the rights to lease the property. The plot of riverfront land, is not the property of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, (M&CC), but was leased to a shipping company by Town Clerk, Royston King.
King has reportedly been collecting a yearly rent from the tenants, despite the dispute surrounding the piece of real estate.
NICIL is said to have raised an objection over the Town Clerk’s leasing of the Wharf Front Land.
NICIL noted that King had no authority to lease the land. The shipping company subsequently wrote NICIL requesting permission to rent the land but King never revoked his lease to the company. As a result, NICIL filed a complaint with the Local Government Commission, (LGC) over the matter.
Earlier this month, proprietor of Quick Shipping Inc, Paul Sandy, admitted that the riverfront land he leased from City Council is being claimed by at least two other entities.
The businessman told the Commission that he spent “millions of dollars” improving the wharf, which was once occupied by pigs.
Sandy admitted to using the unfinished wharf to dock his vessels despite the controversy over who owns the land.
The repairs included clearing and back filling the wharf. Sandy noted too that he has already been paying a rent of $645,000 annually since 2016, when the NICIL, Government’s holding company for state assets, and the Guyana National Industrial Corporation,(GNIC) came forward claiming ownership of the properties.
Source: Kaieteur News