We take our duty as journalists and our obligations as citizens very seriously. We also take pride in our people’s hospitality and respect for investors and visitors from the region and around the world.
But as we welcome participants to the Oil Summit which begins today at the Marriott Hotel, we do so in a state of sadness because ExxonMobil has abused our hospitality, our Constitution, our Parliament and our laws.
ExxonMobil, in negotiations conducted in secret and withheld from our people, imposed a Production Sharing Agreement which ranks among the most lopsided in the modern era.
Here are some examples.
We are not asking that ExxonMobil leave Guyana – we only ask that it deals with us fairly, respecting our Constitution, our Parliament and our laws. We are gracious hosts. We ask that Exxon and all international oil operators be responsible and fair guests.
Pre-Independence, our country was referred to disparagingly – but not inaccurately – as Bookers Guiana. With oil revenues likely to determine the shape of our Budget and the welfare of our people for decades to come, we do not want our country to be labelled with the prefix Exxon.
This unconscionable contract must be renegotiated with a fairer distribution of the oil take. Until this is done, Guyanese will have legitimate grounds for feeling resentful.
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