Current attempts to sell 67% of the taxpayers’ funded Marriott Hotel to a secret investor for US$8.0m clearly shows the continuing lack of transparency, behind the door, secret deals involving Head of the NICIL, Winston Brassington and unknown investors. This is fleecing of the state of Guyana given that NICIL, a wholly owned state company, had already spent US$20m on this project and is only receiving 33% shares in the company that will own it. In total contempt for the Guyanese nation, disclosure is yet to be made of the investors, their profile, source of funds, amount offered, payment terms and other arrangements.
There is undoubtedly an intent to hoodwink the nation in the way this project has been configured, the advance of US$10m just before the 2011 election, no private sector financial commitments or any other certainty that the project will be completed.
With Winston Brassington at the centre of all such deals, sale of state assets to a close circle of friends of the PPP/C administration; Chairman of the mismanaged GPL, Head of NICIL through which revenues of state companies are diverted, it is incumbent on President Donald Ramotar’s Administration to carry out the forensic audit of NICIL demanded by Parliament.
The personal assets of Winston Brassington and members of NICIL’s Board and all those in public office connected to this enterprise ought to be investigated by a credible integrity commission. To facilitate this process, Winston Brassington should be interdicted from all State Boards and entities.
APNU demands an urgent audit of all expenditure and commitments on the Marriott Hotel before any such sale of interest in Atlantic Hotel Inc and its review by the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly.
All investors including any banks are now put on notice that the APNU consider this project as lacking economic justification, without Parliamentary approval and as presently configured not in the best interest of Guyanese. The land transferred to Atlantic Hotel Inc by NICIL under a long term lease is the property of the state and currently under litigation. As such we, as representative of the people of Guyana, would find difficulty honouring any commitment made by Atlantic Hotel Inc, NICIL or the Government of Guyana in this regard.
Parliament has already approved a Motion demanding a full forensic audit of NICIL and we are insisting that this is done without delay.