Skip to main content

PRESS RELEASE.
LEASE OF NICIL LANDS TO THIRD PARTIES.
There has been much confusion and misinformation circulating in the media and about the alleged disposal of lands which were the property of NICIL by the Lessees to third parties without the written permission of NICIL.
Set out below are the applicable laws and regulations in relation to the disposal of various interests in land held by NICIL which are subject of the ongoing Police Investigations.
Common Misconception # 1.
All lands which are held by the State or corporation or companies in which the State owns all the shares are State Lands.
The legal position.
1. All lands owned or held by the State or Corporate entities in which the State owns all the shares are not necessarily State lands.
2. State Lands are restricted to lands which are referred to in the State Lands Act Chapter 62:01. These lands do not refer to lands held by transport.
3. The transfer of State lands is governed by the provisions of the regulations issued under the State Lands Act Chapter 62:01 of the laws of Guyana.
4. Regulation 12 requires every holder of state land whether by lease, licence or permission who would like to transfer their lease licence or permission, to make an application in writing to transfer the lease licence or permission.
5. Lands owned or held by transport are not governed by or subject to the State Lands Act. They are governed entirely by the provisions of the Deeds Registry Act Chapter 5:01 of the Laws of Guyana.
6. Section 23 of the Deeds Registry Act provides “ From the 1st January 1920 every transport of immovable property other than a judicial sale transport shall vest in the transferee the full and absolute title to the immovable property or to the rights and interest therein described in that transport, subject to
(a) Statutory claims
(b) Registered incumbrances
(c) Registered interest registered before the date of the last advertisement of the transport in the Gazette
(d) Registered leases registered before the date of the last advertisement of the transport in the Gazette
Provided that any transport, whether passed before or after the 1st January 1920, obtained by fraud shall be liable in the hands of all parties or privies to the fraud to be declared void by the Court in any action brought within twelve months after the discovery of the fraud or from the 1st October 1925, whichever is more recent.”
7. Lands held by transport are only subject to the conditions set out in the transport. There is no law or regulation which requires that any written permission be obtained from anyone before land or any interest in that land is transferred by the owner/ holder of the transport to a third party.
8. There is no law or regulation which requires any State owned company or corporate entity to require written permission before any interest in the land is transferred by a Lessee (tenant)..
9. The NICIL lands (Immovable property) subject to the present ongoing Police investigations were held by transport by NICIL There is no condition or covenant in the transport which required that written permission be obtained from NICIL or anyone else before a Lessee(tenant) transferred any interest to a third party.
10. NICIL entered into leases with various entities which expressly conferred on the lessee the right to transfer their interest without the written permission of NICIL. It also entered into leases with various persons which either required their permission to transfer to a third party and some which did not contain that provision.
11. There is no law which requires state corporations or state companies to include in any lease of property held by transport by them, a provision that the written permission of NICIL be first obtained.
Common Misconception # 2
The State lost money when NICIL lands were “sold” by the Lessees to third parties.
The legal position.
1. NICIL leased various properties to Lessees (tenants) at prevailing commercial rates based on the Government valuation of the property.
2. It means that the Lessee (tenant) did not “buy” any land, they merely entered into a lease with NICIL for twenty years and are obliged to pay the rent for the entire period unless the lease was terminated.
3. The Lessee (tenant) therefore could not “sell” the property as they did not own the property. All the Lessee (Tenant) held was a lease to the property for a period of 20 years or such period stated in the Lease.
4. When the lessee (tenant) entered into an agreement with a third party to “sell” their interest in the lease, they could only “sell” or dispose of what they had obtained from NICIL which is the remainder ( remaining time) of the lease. For example they could not pass transport of the property to a third party because they did not own the transport. NICIL remains the owners by transport of all the properties under investigation.
5. When the Lessee “sold” their interest the new Lessee (tenant) would still have to pay NICIL the rent due under the original lease agreement so the State nor NICIL has lost no income as every subsequent Lessee (tenant) is obliged to pay NICIL the same commercial rental rates for the property as the original tenant.
6. In other words the new Lessee (tenant) steps into the shoes of the original Lessee (tenant) and is obliged to pay NICIL the same rent as the original lessee.
7. If the Lessee (tenant) had not “sold” their interests, NICIL would get the same rent under the Lease. NICIL gets what it had agreed to receive as rent the property for from the start to the end of the lease. No loss to NICI or the State.
Dated this 28th day of November 2020.
C.A. Nigel Hughes.
Attorney at Law for Calvin Heath London.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

According to Marcia Nadir-Sharma, anyone who has a lease of Industrial lands are forbiiden to enter a Joint Venture, local or foreign.

Six years ago, I suspected she was incorrect in her understanding of the conditions of a lease in connection to Joint Ventures. In Guyana, only God could help you when a government official makes a decision against you. There is no recourse. I entered a JV with a Canadian Company whose enterprise was drilling for Gold Samples, a service industry.

If the laws says she is correct then the laws needs to be changed. With the Oil and Gas ventures, many Trinidadians have JV arrangements with Guyanese. They maybe considered illegal.

Guyana is only ready for business when personal attitudes do not come into play.

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and suit, text that says 'Attorney Nigel Hughes'
MR HUGHES CLEARS UP NICIL TRANSACTIONS MISCONCEPTIONS
As the investigation into land transactions at the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) continue, Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes has cleared up the misconception that all State lands are prohibited from subletting and that the State lost money when the lands were transferred by the Lessees to third parties.
Hughes is representing the Former head of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU), Colvin Heath-London who has been accused of facilitating the subletting of lands on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) without permission which allegedly goes against the law. However, Heath-London has provided the police with evidence to prove that NICIL was fully aware of sub-letting agreements. The evidence lies in electronic copies of NICIL’s Board minutes and records for January 2018 which showed that NICIL’s former and late CEO, Horace James, in conjunction with the Board, had decided that lease transactions should be amended to facilitate sub-letting to create a more competitive platform.
However, the newly appointed Head of NICIL has questioned the validity of the Board minutes even as the Village Voice News has been reliably informed that documents at NICIL which could be useful to the investigation are no longer accessible.
Seeking to shed greater light on the situation which continues to unfold in media reports, Hughes said that it is crucial that two important points are understood, based on the law.
The first is that all lands which are held by the State or corporation or companies in which the State owns all the shares are not necessarily State Lands.
According to law, State Lands are governed by the provisions of the regulations issued under the State Lands Act Chapter 62:01 of the laws of Guyana which indicate that every holder of such lands, whether by lease, licence or permission, who would like to transfer their lease licence or permission, must make an application in writing to transfer the lease licence or permission.
However, lands held by transport are not governed by or subject to the State Lands Act. They are governed entirely by the provisions of the Deeds Registry Act Chapter 5:01 of the Laws of Guyana. Lands held by transport are only subject to the conditions set out in the transport and there is no law or regulation requiring written permission before that land is transferred by the owner/ holder of the transport to a third party.
Hughes further explained that the NICIL lands in question held by transport by NICIL. This means that there is no condition or covenant in the transport which required that written permission be obtained from NICIL or anyone else before a Lessee (tenant) transferred any interest to a third party.
“NICIL entered into leases with various entities which expressly conferred on the lessee the right to transfer their interest without the written permission of NICIL. It also entered into leases with various persons which either required their permission to transfer to a third party and some which did not contain that provision,” the attorney explained.
The police have questioned Heath-London along the lines of whether he was aware that a clause in contracts to four companies required Lessees from NICIL to secure written permission prior to subletting, but Hughes has communicated to the police that none such requirement was mandatory.
Meanwhile, though Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has claimed that Heath-London, among others, “acted recklessly, in bad faith with full knowledge of the flagrant illegalities, which have resulted in millions of dollars of losses to the State”, Hughes has again taken the legal route to show to no such loss has occurred.
For the NICIL lands, valuated by the Government and leased for 20 years, the Lessee (tenant) has entered into a contract for which they are obliged to pay the rent for the entire period unless the lease was terminated.
The lands (immovable property), being unowned by the Lessee (tenant) means that the Lessee cannot sell the property. When the agreements were entered into to sublet the lands to a third party, only what was obtained from NICIL could have and did form part of the transaction. Still, no sale of lands could have occurred because these are still owned by NICIL as the transport holder.
As it stands, the new third-party Lessee still has an obligation to pay to NICIL the rent due under the original lease agreement. “So, the State nor NICIL has lost no income as every subsequent Lessee (tenant) is obliged to pay NICIL the same commercial rental rates for the property as the original tenant. In other words, the new Lessee (tenant) steps into the shoes of the original Lessee (tenant) and is obliged to pay NICIL the same rent as the original lessee,” Hughes pointed out.
The Attorney stated that there has been much confusion and misinformation circulating in the media and about the alleged disposal of lands owned by NICIL. Thus far, Heath-London, along with Attorney-at-Law, James Bond; Life 1 Pharms Inc. Director, Avalon Jagnandan and Director of A-Z Pharmaceuticals Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc., Eddie Doolall, are among those questioned by the police.

Add Reply

Post

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×