NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL INVESTMENTS LIMITED
APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, AUGUST 19, 2020: The Board of Directors of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (“NICIL”) announces the appointment of Mr. Radha Krishna Sharma as the Interim Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of NICIL. The Board notes that NICIL has been without a substantive CEO since 25th October, 2018, with the passing of its then Head. The former acting CEO has reverted to his substantive position as Head of the Special Purpose Unit.
Given the importance of NICIL’s operations as the Government’s Privatization arm and the controversy surrounding many transactions conducted by NICIL over the past few years, the Board considered it urgent and necessary to immediately appoint an Interim CEO of NICIL for a period of three months, after which the post will be filled following an advertisement inviting suitably qualified candidates to apply.
Mr. Sharma is no stranger to the corporate world, having a substantial breadth of experience in the commercial sector, having worked in the capacity of CEO of Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company from March 2013 to December 2015, and as CEO of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry from July 2000 to November 2009. We are excited to welcome him to NICIL.
NICIL boss says GuySuCo divestment halted due to unstable political situation
Divestment of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) remains on pause while Guyana’s political situation remains an unstable one.
National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s (NICIL) has been seeking investors for the closed sugar estates and their assets, but acting Chief Executive Officer Colvin Heath-London said that for now, this is all on pause until political events are resolved.
“In terms of the divestment, we have several investors lined up. But they’re all not going forward until the political situation returns to some normalcy. So, it’s wait-and-see until then.”
He explained that this is the situation with all the estates being divested.
Zeroing in on one of those estates, this publication requested clarity on the status of Wales. In response, Heath-London said private farmers and some former sugar workers have taken up land at Wales for farming.
He also explained that Amazonia Expert Services Limited, the company granted a 20-year lease last year by the Government to cultivate and process coconuts, has started its preparations.
Since closure of the Wales, East Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates, and the firing of thousands of sugar workers, Government had moved to divest the facilities.
United Kingdom (UK) company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was contracted to carrying out valuations of GuySuCo’s assets up for sale, and had invited expressions of interest from potential buyers.
Initially, 10 expressions of interest were received, but only five companies eventually entered bids.
Extra Virgin Coconut Products (EVCP) and Amazonia Expert Services Incorporated (AESI) are the two companies which received 680 acres of land from the estate’s assets. However, just prior to elections in March of this year, former sugar workers were lamenting the fact that they were still waiting on the land grants that the APNU/AFC Administration had promised they would receive to continue their livelihood.
Many sugar workers, throughout this time, have vented their disappointment in the coalition Government for “neglecting” their woes and interests.
FOR those who need a further reminder, Colvin Heath-London’s appointment as Chief Executive officer (ag.) to NICIL/SPU, was not a case of finding ‘jobs for the boys’; or a wild-card aim, or some young citizen with no experience being tasked with portfolios beyond his capabilities.
For here was a Guyanese, with impeccable academic credentials, well learned and versed in the art of modern management techniques, and with a background of international experience in the dynamics of challenging and complex boardroom scenarios, being asked to take on the delicate assignment of managing the state assets agency, riddled with so many acts of illegalities, compliments of a former regime. Add this to another daunting, even larger challenge of finding solutions for the resurrection of a collapsed, once industrial giant of sugar, and one will understand that Heath-London has his plate filled with headaches of a systemic type.
He has continued to confound those of an outdated culture, because he has challenged their colonial culture of the right to privilege, despite the changed circumstance of an entity of such historical tradition. Rather than cooperate with a dynamic mind whose modern mind challenged the outmoded management, he has encountered public attacks, via some sections of the media, and attempts to deem him unfit for the daunting assignment, which they themselves have not been able to fix, except continuing to go around in circles.
London’s stewardship, thus far, has been about Guyana, as evidenced by the monumental job he has done, securing the $30 Bln bond for the restructuring of GuySuCo, the restoration of the famous Linden landmark of Watooka House, converting Skeldon Estate into Skeldon Heritage Resort, the Berbice Inn, the Kwakwani State House and the Ituni Guesthouse to name a few. However, his recent successes, in securing a dividend payment of US $3M from BOSAI, an international organisation in the extractive industry of Guyana, coupled with his court challenge against Hong Kong Golden Telecom(HKGT) for their failure to make good on payment owed to the government of Guyana, for their purchase of 20 per cent shares in the Guyana telephone and Telegraph Company(GTT). The latest move, just in every conceivable way, has netted Guyana an extra US$7.5M, as a result of accrued interest.
Obviously, this is a CEO who understands the meaning of working in the best interests of the state, ensuring that it gets justice in its undertaking with international organisations that believe that they can come to Guyana and disrespect our laws.
Hats off to Heath-London! His talents are indeed a blessing to Guyana. One has no doubt as to his patriotism. It is time that those who are still impeding his efforts at making NICIL/SPU a continuously viable entity in the interest of Guyana, cease impeding such efforts.
Fraudsters are posing as officials of the National Industrial and Commercial and Investments Limited (NICIL) in order to sell properties belong to the government holding company, its acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Colvin Heath-London has said.
In a statement issued yesterday, Heath-London issued an appeal to the general public to beware of scammers in light of “several reports” of NICIL’s properties being “sold allegedly by persons claiming to be ‘brokers’” of NICIL.
Heath-London added that over the past several days a number of persons “with criminal intent” have been approaching unsuspecting persons claiming to be in authority and thus authorised to sell a number of properties belonging to NICIL.
“We seems to be in a season where there are desperate people doing desperate things and I would like to warn and appeal to everyone to not fall for the lies being peddled by an evidently organised criminal network,” he was quoted as saying.
The statement said it was revealed that those responsible have been parading as owners and or ‘brokers’ of several prime properties belong to the Government of Guyana, with the view of deceiving unsuspecting buyers into believing that they are in a position to sell these properties.
“I would like to warn persons in and out of Guyana to be on the lookout for persons posing as owners and or ‘brokers’ claiming to be in a position to sell these assets,” Heath-London was quoted as saying.
According to the statement, NICIL has declared that no property and or assets belonging to NICIL can be sold without the authorisation of its CEO or Board of Directors. “We are urgently appealing to unsuspecting buyers to be on the lookout for persons who are seeking to scam them of their hard earn monies,” Heath-London said.
“As the CEO I would like persons to be alerted so as to thwart any such unprofessional, illegal acts that may drag in unsuspecting persons with the promise that they are buying properties,” he further warned.
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