– Nigel Hinds, Chartered Accountant
The silence is deafening. It is indeed unfortunate that so many Guyanese are keeping quiet in the face of the glaring atrocities highlighted in the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman signed with ExxonMobil. That is the crux of comments made by Chartered Accountant, Nigel Hinds.
Hinds said that advocates like Christopher Ram, Ramon Gaskin, Anand Goolsarran, Melinda Janki and Annette Arjoon ought to be saluted.
Hinds said, “We have too many cowards in our midst; this is no time for capitulators. The enormous oil wealth of Guyana goes beyond party politics; this is about defending Guyana’s wealth versus enabling the oil giants of the world to give us crumbs from oil finds that will likely vault us to number two in the world on a per capita basis for countries with the largest oil reserves.”
Hinds opined that the recent writings of Professor Clive Thomas are disappointing. He said that Professor Thomas’ economic renderings, “reminded me of Schopenhauer’s analysis of Hagel: Castles of abstraction—woven in impressive but vacuous language.”
While Thomas has been writing favourably about the PSA, other independent minds, including Hinds have been on the opposite side of the fence.
Hinds, Thomas, Ram and Janki want the contract to be renegotiated in order for Guyana to get more.
Hinds told Kaieteur News that he thinks the contract is the worst Guyana could have gotten. He said that only a visionless individual could have signed such a contract on Guyana’s behalf.
I would have rather an agreement that, at least when you examine it, is respectful of the intellectual capacity of Guyanese. We are not focusing on who might have gotten what benefit under the table.
“That does not come into play. It is just that the contract itself is so offensive to your senses. We have people who know better. What caused them to sign on to this contract is baffling.”
Hinds said that there are many issues in the contract. He pointed to a few. He noted that litigation is to be included in cost recovery.
“You cannot put a value on the fact that we are responsible for litigation. Those are things that are meaningful and could result in losses occurring.”
Hinds said that the two percent royalty is “ridiculous” and the US$18M signing bonus is “horrendous”
The accountant noted the “Stability of Agreement” clause in the contract ensures that even if Guyana modifies its financial laws or introduces more taxes, ExxonMobil will not have to confirm to any of those changes.
Hinds stated that of all the “insulting” provisions in the agreement, the two percent royalty is about the worst. He said that with a higher royalty, even with all the other horrible provisions in the contract, Guyana would have gotten a better share.
The Accountant said that Guyana will still be better off when oil production starts but not as good as it could have been if Guyana had a fair agreement.
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