NICIL looking to lease land, properties in Canal No 2
…invites bid for business venture
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), which has a number of State assets in its possession, is looking to dispose of some situated at Canal Number Two on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
According to the notice, NICIL requested proposals from persons desirous of leasing and developing over 45 acres of land, including Block A which consists of 15.9 acres and Plot NT which comprises 30.9 acres.
“The property is located in Canal No. 2 on the West Bank of Demerara and was used for clay brick production. Block A currently has a clay brick factory and office spaces housed on it, while Block C is vacant land with secondary growth,” the notice said.
According to NICIL, proposals are invited from either persons or companies, whether individually or as part of a joint venture. They went on to add, however, that these bidders should have technical expertise and extensive experience with viable and suitable business ventures. Bidders were given until April 30, 2021, to submit their proposals.
NICIL has over the past few years been engaged in various ventures to raise cash, including selling land to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to develop housing areas, although when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) entered office, it was to find that the CH&PA owed millions for land transferred in 2019.
NICIL had also sold more than 1000 acres of land to the CH&PA, as part of the lands it divested from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) in keeping with the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change’s controversial policy of downsizing the sugar company.
Back in 2018, NICIL, through Republic Bank, went out on a limb to arrange a $30 billion syndicated bond at a rate of 4.75 per cent interest and a five-year repayment period for GuySuCo.
According to the agreement between NICIL and Hand-in-Hand Trust Corporation as the trustee, the first tranche payment of $16.5 billion from the bond was to be used for a long-term project and capital financing for GuySuCo.
Specifically, the money was to be used to acquire two co-generation plants, upgrade the existing factories to produce plantation white sugar, build storage and packing facilities, and help pay for two years of general operational costs.
However, a significant part of the bond was never used for the purposes it was secured. The previous APNU/AFC Government itself had admitted that between July 2018 to February 2020, $9.7 billion was disbursed from the bond to GuySuCo to fund its operational expenditure – much of which was outside the terms of the bond.