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7145 Slaughterhouse Road

Belize City, Belize Central America

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NICH Board says it is not Defiant

NICH appears to be more financially sound in this review period compared to last year and that prompted the Board to mention one of its plans to use the savings to repair or replace the air condition system at the Institute of Creative Arts. But since it was clear that Cabinet had weighed in on the situation and voted to suspend the NICH President. It was clear that Budhrani was still serving in her post as President, so the media asked her and Roosevelt Blades if the Board was acting in defiance of a cabinet decision.

Sapna Budhrani President NICH: “There is an internal auditor and there is a quarterly report. The audit was not a complete report so it’s was not an audit report, it was a draft report. In reference to my status that would be one that the Board can answer but clearly today you can see that I have the support and Mr. Perrera mentioned that I do have the support of the directors and the Board of Directors.”

Roosevelt Blades: “Can I just say something on behalf of the board. I really am listening to your choice of words and I really wouldn’t want it to go out there that we are defying the cabinet. This is not the case. We are here to say to that the information that you are using, the information that was presented to the Cabinet for them to make their decision was inaccurate. We want to set the record straight that’s all we are doing. We are not defying anybody; we cannot defy the Cabinet; they are the maximum authority of this country. We respect the Prime Minister and we respect his cabinet. No defiance here, we are just setting the record clear that’s all.”

Voice 1: “I understand but then the cabinet instructed that she be placed on administrative leave so if she is not now placed on administrative leave then that now is a defiance of cabinet instruction.”

Roosevelt Blades:Yes but the cabinet gave the instructions not to the board. The cabinet gave instructions in cabinet. “

Voice 1: “To the Deputy Prime Minister who is the head of NICH.”

Roosevelt Blades: “Yes so we are here presenting our side of the story. We are not defying anybody, what we did was with due diligence, we gave the internal auditor the opportunity to present his findings to the directors which he should have done whilst conducting the audit before making the report and so that is what we did no defiance here.”

Voice 1: Ma’am do you feel that you have been targeted by the son of the Prime Minister Shyne because there is some evidence leaked that you queried him in regards to the spending of some of his finances; I think it was $35,000 and do you feel that all this because he has led the charge basically against you. Do you feel that he is targeting you?”

Sapna Budhrani President NICH: “You know that is a question that the media houses could help answer if you would advise me who leaked the document that would be one that would be helpful to us and in our investigation. I wouldn’t be able to say if he has targeted me but I have tried to follow the process and the protocol within NICH and to do what is best in the country.”

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