Contrary to much of the callous and unfair criticisms that the current government has received, I have measured its ‘works’ against the critics and I am confident that this regime will deliver a return to a sense of Law and a better feeling about being Guyanese.
The infrastructural works is testimony to it, and it is doing this outside of a booming economy. It defies all in comparison to what went before in respect to principles and fair play, and not resort to permit the chaos of the troubled Jagdeo era to revisit us, though its violence and drug abuse continue to haunt us.
But these are humans, in some cases flawed and out of sync, in a six-party coalition. This is our first functional national front government. I don’t expect perfection and an absence of hiccups. This brings me to the little observations I have made to oil and Exxon until the incident about the bonus came up. That generated so much criticism, which caused me to go back to all those articles Christopher Ram had written on ‘Sensitizing on Oil’.
My surprise with the bonus was that all these professional thinkers, Goolsarran, Ramkarran, and even Christopher Ram were indicating that this was an illegal act. I was astonished. I have done small contracts with Publishers, CARICOM, UNICEF, CIDA, WI cricket board and locally over the past twenty-one years. There have in most cases merited at signing– a non-refundable bonus, advances or grants, a few cases outside of the agreed cost, you call it what you want.
How could these learned men not understand that there was nothing wrong with the bonus, much less the unexposed citizen? What was wrong with the Exxon bonus as I mentioned in my GNNL column in Dec. 2017 was the amount.
Nigel Hughes and Tarron Khemraj are the only two I have read who agreed with this. I could have missed others. They insisted that the Bonus should have been much higher, I say about US$300M. We need the money, we are worth it.
Then the disturbing revelation of the IMF declaration that the “Oil agreement generous to Exxon – IMF team” Sunday Stabroek December 24, 2017. I realise that we are screwed. Now I’m paying full attention to ‘Oil’; been bruk too long not to.
Our dismal legal performance with the ‘Demerara Gold’ Trade Mark case some years ago, and the list of violations by Companies brought against this country over the past twenty years, which the complainants won, brings me to the position supported by some legal friends with whom I’ve exchanged views.
We have mostly criminal case Lawyers accustomed to pitting their wits against hopeless, barely trained police prosecutors and not against a seasoned team of International negotiators from an Industry that we know nothing off.
Our Ministry of Natural Resources has no expertise to negotiate with EXXON. These guys have bettered older and stronger nations. We need help to re-negotiate the agreement, and we need it now. Get overseas friends with knowledge about oil, local geologists and sources that can ensure we receive a sustainable return for our Oil Resources.
Failing this we will miss both the sunset and the new dawn, because we choose to dabble in the deep shadows of the night. That is too simplistic a fate.
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