Aug 26, 2013 News
– Finance Minister
The due diligence that was being conducted by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) for the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project has now ceased, and without it, the public review of the project cannot take place.
This was the announcement last evening by the Ministry of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh.
The public announcement saw Dr Singh, criticizing A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) for halting the due diligence for the project and said the Parliament was not being asked to support the finalisation of the project.
“They were simply being asked to join a political consensus that would move the project out of the exclusive realm of politicians in the last few months of its design.”
Dr Singh said that APNU was specifically, being asked to join a consensus which would let the independent IDB due diligence finish its last few weeks of work.
“And perhaps most importantly, they were being asked to join a consensus which would have let the six week public review of the Amaila Falls Hydro project take place – as part of transferring the bulk of Guyana’s equity contribution from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF).”
The Guyana Government had committed US$100M to the project with US20M of that coming from the nation’s coffers and the remaining US$80M to be used from the money Guyana receives from Norway.
“The IDB’s due diligence has now ceased, and without it, the public review of the project cannot take place,” said Dr Singh.
“There is no logical or patriotic reason to stop the IDB due diligence from being completed.”
He said that after millions of dollars have been spent over many years, involving hundreds of experts, their views and expertise would have been a better way to solve detailed technical issues than un-informed letters in the media.
“However, it is particularly unforgivable to prevent the public from having the final say.”
He said that the last step to finalising Amaila should have seen the politicians take a back seat, while the people of Guyana calmly spent six weeks to go through the details of what was proposed, as part of the GRIF review process.
“Once politics was stripped away, the people could have had access to factual information, and had time to digest the details, rather than having politicians or letter-writers claim to speak for them…But APNU worked to prevent all this.”
According to Dr Singh, “unless we see a rapid and radical change in APNU’s willingness to let the IDB do their work, and to let the people of Guyana have their say during the six week public review process, it seems that the project has died.
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