WIOC board of directors had no obligation to invite bidding on property now owned by his son, PM Browne declares

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the West Indies Oil Company
(WIOC) Ltd. had no obligation to invite bidding on the Friars Hill
Road property that was purchased by his eldest son, Gaston Andron
Browne III.
There have been accusations of nepotism regarding this deal, as the
Government is now renting the property from the younger Browne
after having undertaken massive renovations on it.
In Parliament on Tuesday, March 26, MP Richard Lewis asked the
prime minister whether other persons had been given the
opportunity to bid on the property. But Browne said that WIOC was

not obliged to do do in order to sell any of its assets or even to enter
a contract.
Rather, Browne said that the company’s Board of Directors – on
which his wife, Maria Browne, sits – has the right to make its own

The prime minister also noted that there is another WIOC building
up for sale, and anyone who is interested can approach the oil
company to register their interest.
According to Browne, no one has been deprived of purchasing the
two buildings that are now owned by his son.

Browne reiterated the claim that his son’s company, IF Antigua Inc.,
is losing millions of dollars, as the buildings could have been rented
at market price, instead of for $12 a year.

Further, he described as “ludicrous” the suggestion by MP Lewis that
the Government should relocate the three departments now housed
there – the Development Control Authority (DCA), the Ministry of
Lands and Housing, and the Lands Office – saying
the Government would have to pay more rent if it did so.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne.