Government takes over nearly $4B debt from Atlantic Hotels Inc.
DPI, Georgetown, Guyana, Friday, November 3, 2017
At the Seventy-first sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, the government announced that it has taken over nearly G$4billion in debt from the Atlantic Hotels Incorporated (AHI).
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said the government’s decision will ensure that Republic Bank Limited (RBL) continues to receive payments and save the Marriott Hotel from foreclosure proceedings.
“The reality here is that such a payment should have been made by AHI based on the monies they should have been receiving from Marriott Hotel, but because the Marriott Hotel is not in a state to give AHI any monies and because AHI’s parent (company) NICIL (National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited) is not in a state to give AHI any money, the Central Government is now forced to take over this debt, over US$17M”, he explained.
In addition, Minister Jordan said, situations like this one continues to drain the nation’s coffers of finances which can otherwise be used to improve the standard of living of all Guyanese. “It is these kinds of transactions that take away a lot from the treasury and essentially rob public servants of money that should rightly go to them”, he noted.
Further, Minister Jordan added that the debt taken over from AHI is just one example of the many such situations inherited by the current administration from the Bharrat Jagdeo led government of 23 years.
“This is not the only debt that we have taken over. We have taken over Guyana Sugar Company’s (GuySuCo’s) debt. All of the loans that were taken to build Skeldon. The loans from Multilaterals, we are servicing those loans, you would remember that we took over five point something billion dollars owed to the NIS by the Berbice Bridge Company. Again, that is monies from an investment, which has not gone the way it should have, by the previous government. That money would have been $5B that would have been available for payment to teachers and other public servants”, the Finance Minister pointed out.
Atlantic Hotel Incorporated is a special purpose company formed by NICIL to partner in the construction of the Marriott Hotel which has seen the previous government investing hundreds of billions from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and other State-owned agencies which have received no dividends to date.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam