It would take brave leadership for Guyana to overpower a giant. But such leadership seems lacking. As a result, Guyana may remain poor even with it tremendous wealth offshore.
Chartered Accountant, Nigel Hinds said as much in a recent letter to the media.
Hinds remains haunted by the existing Petroleum Sharing Agreement (PSA) that Guyana has with ExxonMobil and its partners. He said that Guyana has to “renegotiate this dishonourable contract now.”
However, Hinds accepted that, “With our political parties and private sector groups groveling to the corporate behemoth, many with the power to make the change and renegotiate the unconscionable and diabolical agreement have surrendered what will eventually exceed 10 Billion Barrels of Oil, for a ludicrous 2% royalty.”
He said that with this attitude, Guyanese leaders from key sectors are “disenfranchising citizens’ right to a fair share of Guyana’s oil wealth.”
Hinds said that it is always important to keep in mind that “Guyana’s off-shore ten gigabyte barrel oil lottery is Exxon’s Esso 21st century jewel crown, that easily surpasses all of Exxon other ventures for this century, and yet they insult with an embarrassing pittance; we must not be victims or be seen as victims of a marauding super-sized corporation.”
He continued, “The benefits to Guyanese from a fair oil contract for Guyana’s billions of barrels of oil, will exceed by several thousand-fold, any advantage to Guyana’s development, reachable by voting for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) or the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).”
On such basis, Hinds said that it is imperative to renegotiate the ExxonMobil contract so that it can be of benefit to Guyanese.
He questioned, “Does anyone seriously believe that if Guyana cancels the contract with Exxon’s Esso et al, that we will not have suitors queuing and offering us fair compensation to access the black gold find of the century, discovered in Guyana’s waters. With a fair contract we will easily repay costs incurred by Exxon’s Esso and still be left with a huge bonanza for Guyanese.”
Hinds said that Guyanese must show the courage to avoid being robbed daily for decades to come.
Hinds quoted William Shakespeare saying, “Fortune favours the brave, but the coward is spoilt by his faint heart.”
He then questioned, “Why must we cower before Exxon when we have 10,000,000,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil, the most sought after high-quality oil in the world. Let courage be symbolic of being Guyanese, we must not at this moment of fortune, deny ourselves what belongs to us.”
Hinds said that the “two percent madness must not become a standard for abuse and exploitation of the resources of developing countries. This issue goes beyond politicking in Guyana. United we can change the pittance royalty from Exxon, the tiny crumb royalty that rats would ignore; as ants’ scurry and content themselves with the tiny crumbs.”
Hinds maintained that Guyana deserves at least 10 percent royalty of the gross value of the oil.
He said that 10 percent is the minimum acceptable standard that will guarantee wealth and respect for and to Guyanese.
Hinds said, “Let our Grangers and Jagdeos collectively embrace courage, and become legends in Guyana, the Caribbean, and heroes to our brothers and sisters in Africa and India. We are made of sterner stuff. Everything seems impossible until it is done.”
He continued, “What a monument to bravery and justice our Guyanese leadership will represent, when we stand together and act for what is right, by renegotiating and discarding this most ungodly contract. Why must we be hewers of wood in the 21st century for Exxon? What is there to fear? The oil is ours; let us act like owners and leaders.”
Hinds even said that former Presidents Forbes Burnham and Dr. Cheddi Jagan would not have allowed “this rubbish contract to see the light of day.” He said that Dr. Walter Rodney would not have allowed this either.
He called on leaders, “Let us fortify ourselves at this moment in time; and not reject our fortune. The outrageous final kicker is Exxon’s Esso invoicing Guyanese for US$460 Million; this ridiculous invoice would have Burnham, Jagan and Rodney – rolling on the floor laughing, and thinking it is good that we are now emancipated, independent and free.”
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