Government has purchased the controversial Buccoo Estate in Tobago, popularly known as No Man’s Land, for $174, 806,775 million.
The 398.42 acre property, which is listed as one of the CL Financial’s (CLF) assets, was sold earlier this year. Each acre was valued at US$65,000, bringing the total value of the secluded property to US$25,897,300.
In 2016, Clico carried on its balance sheet the value of the land at roughly $187 million. The transfer agreement was completed on March 2017.
However, at a press conference last week, Carlton Reis, who represents CL Financial shareholders under the group United Shareholders Ltd, had estimated the land at $500 million.
Clico Policyholders Group chairman Peter Permell, in a July 16 Sunday Guardian article, said a Project Rebirth report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoppers estimated the fair market value of the property at approximately $867 million.
The land will be offered to Sandals chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart for the construction of two hotel resorts comprising 750 rooms.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley confirmed Government purchased the property at market value. He said an issue was raised recently about Government’s taking possession of the CLF assets, noting it was argued that what was on the books was not the real value and Government should have sought a valuation.
“But it was said that the lands we took in Tobago in lieu of the debt and set off against the debt might have been improperly done and the value might not have been established properly. Let me today put that to rest,” he said.
“The Government, quite properly, through the relevant authority in all of this, the board set off the monies owed for the value of those land. And the value was established by reputable independent valuators in Trinidad and Tobago. And that is the value at which the Government’s debt was reduced by virtue of the value of this land.”
The PM warned all those who have been saying the Government took possession of the land and paid “half X for it... nothing is further from the truth. The law requires that any disposal of assets under the Central Bank, as it is now holding assets for Clico…any disposal requires fair market value. And that is exactly what we got in that.
He said the valuation was based on an analysis of 100 per cent of the common stock of Occidental Investments Ltd and Oceanic Properties Ltd, owned by Clico.
Rowley said a lot of misinformation was being put out in the public domain by people who were unaware “but who are fuelling conspiracies and ascribing misconduct to the Government” was misleading.
“Those lands would have been acquired by the Government at full market value established by reputable valuators.”
Rowley left a copy of the valuation for the media’s perusal, but did not field questions about the land.
WWII Watchtower, La Brea, Trinidad
- Angelo Bissessarsingh ( 2010)
Many younger persons in society might not be aware that Trinidad was home to an American army base during World War II. Though the primary camp was at Chaguramas, watchtowers were erected all over the island. This 200-feet-tall concrete tower located at La Brea, overlooks the Pitch Lake and the Gulf of Paria. It was erected in 1942 by the Royal Engineers of the British Army. The tower was built to protect the oil installations at Brighton against German attacks. During the Second World War, oil was an essential fuel and every precaution had to be taken to ensure its availability for use by warships. At the end of hostilities with Germany, the tower was used as a bachelors' quarters for Trinidad Lake Asphalt company employees
Deputy Port of Spain Mayor Hillan Morean has announced that the street will be renamed in honour of Janelle Penny Commissiong, this country's first Miss Universe.
Commissiong won the pageant on July 16, 1977, becoming not only this country's first winner but the first black woman to have won the title.
Sunday will mark 40 years since the historic achievement.
In a statement, Morean heaped praises on Commissiong and said the city of Port of Spain remains proud of her many achievements.
"The city council of the Port of Spain Corporation along with the burgesses of the city remain very proud of Penny, our very own Queen. We commend her for her many accomplishments, national contributions, her legacy and the work she continues to do with excellence."
In a show of pride and appreciation, he said the Port of Spain City Council has decided to rename Queen Street to Janelle Commissiong Street.
The decision was taken after discussions with stakeholders including the Downtown Owners and Merchant's Association (DOMA).
Morean said more discussions are ongoing to ensure that there is proper consultation.
Queen Street is also set to get a major facelift with general rehabilitation works being planned. Morean said sidewalks, drainage and road infrastructure in and around Queen Street are marked for restructuring, to enhance the aesthetics of the area.
"It is with great anticipation that the Port of Spain Corporation looks forward to the upgrade of the general infrastructure of the central business district area," he added.
The rehabilitation project is being overseen by Councillor Stephen Harper, chairman of the planning committee.
"It is a great pleasure to solidify this historic moment which revolutionized the way the world looked at beauty," Harper said.
Morean added that the city council intends to recognize national icons who continue to make T&T proud.
"Once again allow me to say congratulations to our Queen, Mrs Janelle Penny Commissiong and to Trinidad Tobago on this very historic and signature moment in the life of the history of our city and nation."
If you are a fan of sci-fi or get a thrill from the latest tech-toys and apps available on the market, then you can relate to Kervon Ryan.
The former pupil at Queen's Royal College, got the opportunity of a lifetime to go to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)in San Jose, California, USA, recently.
This event is held annually by Apple to showcase its new software and technologies for software developers.
It also provides great networking prospects for developers to attend sessions and meet with Apple experts.
This is a most sought after event for the best and brightest in technology from around the world, so much so that it is compared to like winning the lottery.
Source: Trinidad Express July 2017
Mr Matthew Batson and Mr Siddel Ramkisson recieve the Queen's Young Leaders 2017 Award.
Her Majesty The Queen presented medals to inspirational young leaders from around the Commonwealth in a special ceremony held to recognise the work they do in their local communities.
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