– Calls for Granger to apologise
The government’s approach towards a signing bonus it received from USA oil king, ExxonMobil has turned into a criminal matter. The police must be called in and the Head of State, David Granger, must issue an apology to the nation for the diabolical act committed by his Ministers, said Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram in a statement to the media.
Ram said that in an ironic twist, the dam of 18 months of denial and obfuscation concerning the payment of a signing bonus broke apart one day before the UN declared International Anti-Corruption Day.
Ram said that the forced admission by the Government is a shocking revelation of a conspiracy to deceive the people of Guyana about billions of dollars, involving a galaxy of ministers.
The Chartered Accountant said that there are immediate and longer term implications of this saga from which Guyana may forever suffer. For the immediate, Ram said it means that Article 216 of the Constitution of Guyana has been knowingly violated.
He went further to state that critical information contained in the Estimates of Expenditure now being considered by the National Assembly is inaccurate, incorrect and meaningless; that the 2016 financial statements of the Government and of the Consolidated Fund are for 2016 similarly deficient; that the Report of the Auditor General thereon is inapplicable and that auditing standards applied by his Office requires him to withdraw his report.
Ram said that the financial statements and the auditor’s report of the Bank of Guyana for the year 2016 face the same jeopardy; and that this web of deception has ensnared high level officers of the Ministry of Finance, the Geology and Mines Commission and the Bank of Guyana, including the Chairman of its Audit Committee Mr. Anand Goolsarran.
The Chartered Accountant said, “May I add here that when in Opposition, this Government, and very specifically the AFC of which Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman is now leader, had repeatedly claimed that former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh should be taken before the courts on a criminal charge under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.”
He continued, “It is as clear as day to me that offences have been committed under Section 85 of that Act by more than one person. This is now a criminal matter and the Guyana Police Force should be called in. It should be clear that as much as one half of the potential public revenues of this country should not be left in the control of Ministers engaged in criminal and other improper conduct.”
“This Administration has disappointingly shown that such standards of common decency, let alone integrity, do not apply to it and its Ministers. So what about the longer term? Well, in a significant transaction with ExxonMobil – with which they need to operate on an arm’s length basis – these same Ministers have shown a willingness to engage in a conspiracy of deception on the people of this country.”
Ram said that ExxonMobil has a monopoly of known and established oil production of Guyana for the foreseeable future. He said that those Ministers cannot be trusted to engage any person, let alone an oil giant who knows that the persons who engage and are required to oversee its conduct are compromised and that their conduct borders on corruption.
Ram emphasized that the petroleum resources of Guyana do not belong to a cabal ensconced in this Administration but to all Guyanese, present and future. He opined that each Guyanese expects and deserves that its government – whether APNU, PNC or PPP – owes to them honesty, decency and integrity demonstrated in accurate accounting, proper accountability and good governance, not only on World Anti-Corruption Day but each and every day of the year.
Ram said that if President Granger wants to regain the public trust in his administration, he needs to apologize to the nation for this diabolical act by his Ministers, remedy the violations, call in the Police, and take surgical action.
Ram said that the aforementioned is not before mounting a public Inquiry into all aspects of the administration of the Ministry of Natural Resources, including the negotiation of contracts outside of Guyana, in Grenada and in New York; the process leading up to the signing of an unnecessary, new Petroleum Agreement with Esso Exploration and Production (Guyana) Limited; and all financial transactions in local and foreign currency.
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