There is no question, not even an ounce of doubt in my mind, that the current leaders in Guyana have already laid out plans for spending the income that will come from oil resources. And there is no question in my mind that those plans are mediocre, arid and destructive. That is because except for a short period of Burnham’s reign, the rest of all of our leaders have been seriously damaged by colonial brainwashing, and they cannot and will not move Guyana away from outdated developmental models.
From Jagdeo to Granger, Guyana has been a failure in economic development. Perhaps the most morbid outcome of this damaged, colonial psyche was Jagdeo’s decision to build the Marriott Hotel. I believe at the time that Jagdeo decided on the construction of the Skeldon factory, he believed it could have saved the sugar industry. But the Marriott Hotel was the invention of an insane leader.
Why would a government in a country without any level of manufacturing, whose foundations in science and technology were primitive and whose delivery of modern facilities to the citizenry was almost non-existent, want to build a hotel costing sixty million American dollars? Can there be a repeat of this diseased wastefulness come 2022 with oil money flowing? My answer is yes. I see nothing in Granger, right down to the party workers in the offices of the PNC and AFC, that will take that oil money and pour it into manufacturing, engineering, scientifically-based agriculture, etc.
You can see from the mentality of these leaders that there is going to be huge spending without commonsense. That oil money in the hands of the PPP leadership that we had in control of Guyana, and the PNC and AFC that are now in control, as my mother used to say, “will melt like butter against the sun.” People without commonsense do not know how to use money wisely.
About fifteen years ago, I did a column on a stupendous stupidity that I saw in this country. I put it down to the vacuous, failed leadership of the PPP kings and queens. I am seeing the same stupidity in the performance of the current government. It is about lack of commonsense in administering this country. What I saw fifteen years ago, I know hundreds of thousands of Guyanese have seen this elephantine idiocy.
Here is what takes place in the administering of the affairs of this sad nation. The water authorities would dig up the roads to put down water and sewage pipes. The entire street would be destroyed. The workmen would simply shovel the gravel back into the craters they created and that street would deteriorate rapidly and be destroyed by the rainy season.
What I wrote about fifteen years ago, I continue to see. Last December, the entire Duncan Street was dug up by GWI to lay pipes. Go and see what Duncan Street from Vlissengen Road to Sheriff Street looks like. It is badly damaged and made even worse by the rainy season.
What is wrong with what the government has done in the past and is still doing?
Commonsense should inform the politicians in charge of Guyana that GWI and the Ministry of Works (I like “Works” over “Public Infrastructure”; hope the new government in 2020 reverts back to “Works”) should have an ongoing relation, in that GWI informs the Ministry when roads are dug up and after GWI is finished, the Ministry moves in and repairs the roads.
I ask any reader out there if this is not commonsense. It is, but GWI and the Ministry have no such arrangement. More money has to be spent to rehabilitate the streets after long decay, when they could have been repaired immediately after GWI completed its pipe-laying projects.
It is these kinds of performers that will have oil wealth to spend after 2022, and just think of how it would be spent.
I predict the following. As soon as the revenue comes in, there will be a spanking new presidential compound. State House will be rebuilt in palatial style. Every ministry will be greatly expanded. Every ministry will be fitted out with a fleet of the latest SUVs that not even EU and North American leaders use.
The courts, police stations and army facilities will be extended in extravagant ways. More public money will go into the construction of more swimming pools in addition to the four the Guyana Government already hasm and which are not open to the public. And trust me; by 2024, the washrooms in all the public schools will still be stink and fetid.
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Forbes Burnham was a dyed-in-the- wool colonist. He admired Winston Churchill and used ‘Churchillian’ pauses in his... more
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