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Mia wants more info on Clico

Wade Gibbons

Mia wants more info on Clico

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PRIME MINISTER FREUNDEL STUART and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler must provide Barbadians with a lot of answers on their part in the CLICO debacle, says former Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.
Last night at a Barbados Labour Party St Philip North branch meeting at Hilda Skeene Primary School, Mottley said that even if Stuart and former chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited, Leroy Parris, were pals, he still had to explain why it took almost two years to put the company under judicial management.
Mottley also called on Sinckler and Stuart to tell policyholders and investors if CLICO had breached its May 12, 2009 memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Government when it started making gratuity payments to Parris.
That MOU stipulated, inter alia, that no payments would be made to directors, management or other senior officials in the form of bonus payments and ex gratia payments.
The St Michael North-East MP said the Opposition had called for a forensic audit into the company, but Government was intent that none was done. She added the Opposition called for judicial management of the company, but Government resisted for two years even after announcing over a year ago that it would have done so.
Mottley said Government had set up an Oversight Committee in response to the financial meltdown at CLICO, but since that committee ceased to exist on July 1, 2010, no one could say what was going on at CLICO. She noted Parris had made a public show of resigning, but was still on the directorship of the company.
“The Minister of Finance must tell us if they received details of payments after the MOU finished on June 13, and are still receiving. Was he aware of any payments to Parris on August 31, 2010, as a part payment of his gratuity? Was he aware of a payment to Parris on September 28, 2010, as another part payment of gratuity?” she asked.
Describing the gratuity arrangement between Parris and CLICO as a “sweetheart” deal where he was guaranteed cumulatively about $12 million, irrespective of anything detrimental that he did, Mottley said the money to be disbursed to Parris could pay more than 300 people owed $50 000 each.
She said Barbadians needed to make those behind this “human tragedy” accountable for their actions.