The Vincentians who are among the group of investors who have leased the state-owned Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard will take over majority shares of St. Vincent Shipyard Ltd., the company to which the facility is leased.
The development comes as St. Vincent Shipyard Ltd., which is run by Venezuela Daniel Ravotti, has run into financial problems and has been unable to pay workers regularly.
Further, the company has fallen behind on payments to the government of tax and social security deduction from workers’ salaries.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told the media this past week that he had a discussion about three weeks ago in which a Vincentian, who said he had two other persons with him, were brought to him (Gonsalves) by Director General of Finance and Planning, Maurice Edwards.
Edwards is chair of the state-owned company, Ottley Hall Company, in which the marina is vested.
“The Venezuelan gentleman was here. I outlined all what is required to be done. And I think there was a path forward and at the conclusion of it, Mr. Edwards would report to me. But what was s discussed, I think they are going to resolve issues with small sums which were outstanding with P.A.Y.E., some small sums involving outstanding at the NIS (National Insurance Services) and there were some things which were supposed to be done under the lease, which were left undone,” Gonsalves told the media.
The prime minister further said that the Venezuelan gave a list of things that they did and the amount of money they expended.
“Those are things that Mr. Edwards, who is the chairman of the Ottley Hall Company, would verify. So I believe there is a framework for the resolution. So when the resolution takes place, or if it doesn’t take place, I would be advised on it.”
Gonsalves outlined the path forward, as relayed to him:
“As I understand what was going to happen — and it has to be reported to me, because they have some process they had to go through with the lawyers — that the Vincentians investors were going to purchase the majority shareholding of that company and therefore, would be in the driver seat.”