NICIL is in violation of the law

Ram & McRae in its Budget Focus 2010 drew attention to one example of the subversive manner in which funds constitutionally due to the Consolidated Fund are diverted into a government owned company with the impressive sounding name of National Industrial Commercial and Investments Ltd (NICIL). The steps are as follows: 1. “vest” into this company assets belonging to the state; 2. have the company sell those assets; 3. use the money thus received for unconnected purposes, without authority or oversight; 4. pay any chicken feed balance as dividends into the Consolidated Fund.

The company can even divert sewage. It financed the multi-million dollar sewage diversion for the Kingston phantom hotel project that refuses to go away. In 2007, it also used $5,000,000 of Lotto funds generously made available to it by President Jagdeo, to “support public viewing of FIFA [2006] World Cup Football.”

The Directors of the Company on record, as they were at 2004, were Mr Saisnarine Kowlessar (then Minister of Finance); Dr. Ashni Singh (then Director of Budget); Dr Roger Luncheon (Head, Presidential Secretariat); Mr Geoff Da Silva (Executive Director, GO-Invest) and the ubiquitous Mr Winston Brassington, Executive Director of NICIL.

The Secretary and Legal Officer of the company is Ms Marcia Nadir, attorney at law.

The law requires all companies to have annual audits, and to file an annual return with the companies section of the Deeds Registry. The return must be accompanied by audited financial statements, and must contain information on the directors, the company secretary, and the shareholders.

Additionally, an annual report, which is distinct from the annual return and audited accounts, must be submitted to the Minister no later than six months after year-end. He then has three months to lay these over in the National Assembly.

Now this is the situation:

1. The company has not filed any annual return for more than ten years.

2. No report and accounts have been laid in the National Assembly for the same period.

3. No notice has been filed to show that Mr Saisnarine Kowlessar has been replaced as a director.

Non-compliance constitutes an offence for which the company and every director and officer, including the secretary, are liable. They stand accused of gross violations of the law. Frighteningly, they also control, directly or indirectly, the billions of taxpayers’ money in the National Budget and the nation’s public assets.

The Registrar of Companies is responsible for enforcing the act and has the power to strike companies off the register. She has been demanding compliance by private companies. Why is nothing being done against NICIL and its directors?

Leave a Reply