Following initial reports that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC), awarded a contract to National Parking Systems (NPS) Inc, who joined with Smart City Solutions (SCS) Inc to implement the Parking Meters Project, it is now being revealed that a third company is involved.
United States-based Guyanese Kamau Cush, Director of both NPS and SCS, on Wednesday disclosed that the contract was actually signed between the Town Council and Smart City Solutions, and not NPS as previously stated. He added too that when the joint venture was formed, NPS was absorbed into Smart City Solutions, which he now claims is owned by Mexican Company – Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, S A de C V.
“Smart City Solutions is a subsidiary of Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, this is the parent company that is headquartered in Mexico City… NPS is no longer an entity that’s operating this parking system. The City of Georgetown signed a contract with Smart City Solutions. NPS is a shareholder in Smart City Solutions; Smart City Solutions is a subsidiary of Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, which is based in Mexico,” Cush told reporters on Wednesday during a demonstration exercise on a model meter.
He disclosed that the parent company, which is located in the municipality of Juan Cuamatzi, in the State of Tlaxcala, Mexico City, is operating out of Mexico City and currently has operations in Panama, Argentina, Peru, and now in Guyana. According to the company’s website, it is operating within in “the industry for car parking companies in Mexico City, Federal District”.
This information comes in light of mounting concerns over the authenticity of the two initial companies – NPS and Smart City Solutions. Since the signing of the contract for the Parking Meters Project, many persons, including Councillors, over the past weeks have raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the deal, which they claim appears to be a shady one, aimed at exploiting the local populace.
In fact, Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan had stated that he could not find proper information about NPS since the address given by the Director lead to an address in New York City, which housed the Atlanta City Bank. However, Cush explained on Wednesday that no information could have been found about the company in the United States because its operation is based in Mexico City.
Moreover, it was found that Cush, who was the Chief Executive Officer of NPS, became the sole Director of the company after the lone member of the Board, Managing Director Patrick Triumph, resigned in April 2016.
According to company documents attached to the Notice of Change of Directors, registered with the Deeds Registry, it states that, “Be it resolved that the Board of Directors of National Parking Systems Inc hereby agree to accept the resignation of Patrick Triumph of Columbus Blvd, Suite CD -2N, Hartford, Connecticut, USA, as a Director of the herein company with effect from the 29th day of April 2016, and be it further resolved that the sole Director of the herein company is Ifagbamila Kamau Cush, also called Kamau Cush”.
Furthermore, in relation to Smart City Solutions Inc, the Notice of Directors documents, seen by this newspaper, revealed that the company was registered on May 6, 2016 with two Directors, Panama City-based Businessman Simon Mosheshvili and Cush.
When asked on Wednesday about the shareholders of these companies, Cush told this newspaper that he does not want to comment on that at this time.
Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green and Town Clerk Royston King have come under fire, mostly from other Councillors, for not wanting to provide copies of the contract to the City Council.
Chase Green explained last week Monday that she is not prepared to release the contract to the public since there have been painful experiences in the past where documents were leaked resulting in the city to lose. In fact, she noted that if Councillors wanted to see the contract they will have to go to the Town Clerk’s Office to simply peruse it.
Nevertheless, Minister of State Joseph Harmon last week Wednesday announced that Cabinet has ordered the Finance Ministry and the Attorney General Chamber’s review the contract between the company and the Georgetown Council.
According to Cush, he is not bothered by this. He explained that the review was ordered to detect any illegality and assured the Guyanese public that nothing of the sort will be found.
“There is no fleecing going on… We have everything to lose, we will be responsible for all the overhead, for the software, for the hardware, everything. The City of Georgetown and Central Government will have no financial responsibility in the installation or the operation of the project,” he pointed out.
Cush went on to outline that from the parking meters project, some 36 per cent of the revenues earned will be given back to Guyana with the M&CC receiving 20 per cent and the other 16 per cent going to Central Government.
“The city and central government will not be paying anything, they have no investment, no stake in the outcome here other than collecting revenues.
On the issue of rates, when asked about mounting concerns on the proposed $125 for 15 minutes, Cush denied having given such figures saying that it was miscalculated.
“$500 per hour was never on the table, it was never on the table… the $500 per hour rate that has been branded around for the past several weeks, is incorrect. It’s a falsehood… (the rates) haven’t been settled as yet,” he declared, while adding that the figures they are looking at are somewhere in the area of approximately $250 per hour.