First, I express my appreciation to Kaieteur News for its exposure of the blatant denial, of taxpayers support, by Ogle Airport Inc (OAI) via their Public Communications Consultant Kit Nascimento. KN has independently established the generosity of the state to OAI, and the real and opportunity costs to the state and taxpayers for this generosity.
- Secondly, the lease of 441 acres is larger than the OAI initial proposal. OAI strongly expressed the view that the facility needed a buffer zone. This buffer zone is now actively being considered by OAI for commercial development.
- Mr Nascimento insinuated that people put me to write on this issue. I have written because I am fully aware of the evolution of the OAI and the unjust deviation from the spirit of the agreement. When Cabinet discussed the issue of the air traffic control equipment and other calls on the state by OAI, I cannot recall OAI or Kit Nascimento sitting at the table.
- As Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, during the evolution of OAI, I had discussions (collectively and individually) with the shareholders of OAI. I cannot recall Kit Nascimento at these discussions during my tenure (2001- 2006) in this portfolio.
I again maintain my position that those in receipt of the generosity of the state should not turn that over to make supernormal profits. I mentioned the issue of those wanting to dispose of house lots before the statutory period ends. This same issue has also been entrenched in the Telecommunications Act, which states that before carriers sell off shares or change owners, the state must give approval. It will now also surface in the oil block leases. Those who sold off shares to TOTAL should have to pay penalties to the state.
My position on Ogle was:
“I want to advance a formula to the Lands and Survey Commission/Ministry of Public Infrastructure where subletting at Ogle is concerned. Let OAI pay an annual processing fee for the subletted portions. The annual processing fee would equal –
Proposed subletting rent per acre less (-) annual lease rental of $6.
This way any exorbitant rental fee would come to the state.”