Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, has admitted that he is the one who advised President David Granger not to alert the nation to the US$18 million the government collected from ExxonMobil last year.
But Greenidge has contradicted his President’s announcement made on Wednesday.
President Granger said that there were some members of Cabinet who were not aware that the money was received from ExxonMobil.
Greenidge said that all of Cabinet knew that the money was secured, but only a few ministers knew what the money would be used for and about the special bank account.
The Minister said, “All the members knew of the money, but not all knew of the purpose. If you want to keep something reasonably secret then you tell only a few people.”
Greenidge said that the fact that the information has been leaked “demonstrates just how porous our system is as regards confidentiality.”
Greenidge said that the press has been completely irresponsible in dealing with the matter of the bonus after finding out that the money was surreptitiously collected.
He said that the government did not mishandle the process.
Greenidge said that earlier in the year he invited the owners of media houses to apprise them of certain information that the government would have preferred kept confidential.
“All owners and elements were invited and we wanted to provide a background on many issues but they didn’t turn up.”
Neither the owner of Kaieteur News nor the Editor in Chief ever received such an invitation.
Also, Greenidge said that not all of the US$18M will go towards paying the “enlarged” legal team to represent Guyana’s interest once the border controversy is referred to the International Court of Justice by the United Nations Secretary-General at the end of this year.
Greenidge said that US$15 million would go towards legal fees and the other US$3 million would go towards urgent training for Guyanese in areas such as petroleum and geology.
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