50 Billion hidden in Secret PPP Bank Accounts
Yesterday at an AFC press conference held at Sidewalk Cafe on Middle Street, the AFC’s Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan declared that the PPP has hidden in excess of 50 Billion Dollars in secret PPP controlled and administered bank accounts.
Ramjattan stated that these monies were largely acquired and routed through NICIL which many including Carl Greenidge of the PNC as well as Chartered Accountant Chris Ram have questioned the integrity and accountability within this unit. It is important to note that NICIL is not audited in any way. The current Auditor General is not qualified to sign off on NICIL accounts even though he does and the main reason for this is because no qualified chartered accountant would sign off on the accounts of NICIL due to irregularities there.
Ramjattan stated that the monies which is being held in the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Ltd (NICIL) account, is “money accrued from the sale of assets” that were owned by the citizens. ”As a result, the money should have been placed in the people’s treasury. Instead, the government which authorized NICIL to act as the ‘sale agent,’ has the money in an account under their control. This has resulted in a situation where the elected representatives of the people cannot monitor or even question how the money is being used,” he indicated.
The PPP has been quite silent on this matter refusing to state whether these funds exist or not.
Ramjattan continued that their silence is evidence that NICIL is in possession of huge sums of money. “That is why they are keeping it away from the public scrutiny, particularly the parliament’s scrutiny,” he added.
He said too that other experts are saying that the amount being questioned is far more than $50B.
Another AFC Executive Member Moses Nagamootoo later said the government has publicly acknowledged that there is a sum of $50B in the NICIL account and the question now is how these monies would be divested. He noted that stakeholders who are the people of Guyana are being denied the benefits of this money.
“We will demand that NICIL through the government should give a full account of every transaction of NICIL, every divestment, every property sold. To whom and for how much and then we will see who the beneficiaries of the sums are,” he said. He added that everybody knows who is benefiting from the NICIL funds. He went as far as to say that who will benefit from the construction of the controversial Marriott Hotel is known to some.
It is important to note that the last hotel investment the government made under the Jagdeo Administration resulted in not a single cent being repaid to tax payers and that Hotel was later sold at a windfall profit going to its previous owners. The Government at the time indicated that it was repaid with “free hotel rooms”.
We will demand that NICIL through the government should give a full account of every transaction of NICIL, every divestment, every property sold. To whom and for how much and then we will see who the beneficiaries of the sums are,” he said. He added that everybody knows who is benefiting from the NICIL funds. He went as far as to say that who will benefit from the construction of the controversial Marriott Hotel is known to some.
Ramjattan said that the process of establishing the Economic Services Committee of Parliament had started in view of the High Court’s recent ruling that the Committee of Selection as currently composed is legal and lawful. He said that now “we will have to make a further amendment to the Standing Orders. Right now the Standing Order has the Economic Services Committee should have four members from the government side and three members from the opposition side. There is a motion in Parliament to reconfigure that that the opposition will have four members and the government will have three members and so you will have a 3:3:1 scenario.”
Ramjattan indicated that the opposition would be driving hard to ensure that these funds are accounted for and that the people of Guyana can get the benefit of these sums owing to its citizens.