The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has taken note of several media reports which exposed the sale of a waterfront property it executed with Proprietor of BK International, Brian Tiwari, just days before the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

In an effort to address perceptions that it might have engaged in a suspicious deal, NICIL sought to explain the history behind the entire affair.

NICIL noted that it had been the owner of Mudlots 1 and 2, Cummingsburg, Georgetown via Transport No. 530 of 1947; Lot ‘F’, a portion of Mudlot 3 three; and Lots ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ portions of North Cummingsburg, Georgetown through Vesting Order No. 43 of 2003 and 42 of 2003.

It said that a lease agreement was subsequently entered into between NICIL and BK International Company Inc. for a period of 20 years with an option to purchase anytime during the lease period. NICIL was keen to point out that this Agreement was signed by former Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington.

The agency further noted that BK International Inc. submitted an offer to purchase based on the terms and conditions of the lease on November 19, 2009. It was explained that this offer was under active consideration by the then Head and Board of NICIL Eventually, it was communicated to BK Inc. that he had not fulfilled the conditions of the lease enough for the purchase proposal to be accepted. NICIL said it subsequently began legal proceedings against BK Inc. in June 2013 to recover rental arrears owed.

This action was later set aside and instead, the settlement was pursued. In attempting to settle, BK Inc. submitted an amended offer to purchase in 2017. NICIL said it then made a counteroffer that included rental arrears, all outstanding rent and 50% of the accrued interest. BK Inc. accepted the counteroffer in October 2017, and the approval for transfer by sale was submitted to Cabinet through the Minister of Finance.

NICIL said that Cabinet’s approval was deferred as ownership of the property was challenged by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. The Guyana Standard understands that this dispute was resolved in late 2019 at which time, NICIL resubmitted its request for approval for transfer of sale. Cabinet returned its approval and NICIL and BK Inc completed the transaction just days before the March elections. This execution of sale was gazetted on March 8, last.


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