I don’t know the gentleman named above. Never spoke with him. Never saw him. A conspicuous fact about him is that he is non-controversial. I have never read a word coming from him that has engendered disagreement. He lives outside of Guyana and is a qualified academic in his area of expertise.
Without any deliberation on his part, Dr. Bynoe has found himself the centre of an expanding debate and some inelegant remarks are contained in that debate that Dr. Bynoe has not encouraged but nevertheless those remarks are necessary in a country where democratic governance hardly existed. And the appointment of Bynoe himself has called into question the democratic instincts of the ruling coalition regime.
The swirling polemic in the assignment of Bynoe to head the Department of Energy is his qualifications and experience in the oil and gas industry. From the details of his curriculum vitae it seems that he has no formal engineering training in the energy sector and no work experience in that sphere.
I think it is fair to say that most people in and outside of Guyana see the emerging energy sector as an important one for the global oil industry and Guyana’s long awaited future as a viable economy.
It is equally fair to say that with such a priceless industry about to evolve, the country would need the best candidate it can find – someone trained in the industry and because of involvement knows it profoundly.
It is no point taking up space to underscore the fact that Dr. Bynoe did not come out on top of a list of applicants. He was the point man for President Granger. But as the days wear on, some funny justifications are being supplied on behalf of Dr. Bynoe that if I was the man, I would ask people to cease their support. Support has to be intellectually shaped. It cannot be speaking for the sake of speaking.
We start with the President himself. He said; “He knows he doesn’t do everything but he knows where to find people who know enough to make that sector functional and we feel that he is a fit and proper person to do that.”
I never saw a person picked for a very sensitive job in a country and his employment is justified on the ground that in office he would know who to select to make the office functional. If there is plausibility in the president’s position then some questions are pertinent.
Was the GRA Head chosen based on relevant qualifications or that he would know who to select to keep GRA afloat? We recently had a new Vice Chancellor at UG. Was he selected because of his exposure to running universities and his professorship or because he would make choice of personnel to sustain UG as an institution?
A few weeks ago, GPL got a new boss from Jamaica. Does he have the relevant qualifications or was he brought over so that he can identify those that GPL need to sustain its operations?
The President’s assertion was backed by a writer in Sunday Stabroek News who wrote; “Dr. Bynoe does not have to do the analyses himself. Dr. Bynoe’s background is suitable for coordinating teams focusing on various sources of energy. Once the head acknowledges he does not know everything then the agency can be housed with very well paid engineers…”
When you read this and what the president opined then it leads you to question why then wasn’t there a pool of applicants. That very writer in the Stabroek News observed, “Dr, Bynoe appears to have a long running relationship with the president.” What is the position of the AFC in relation to the name it had proposed for the position that Dr. Bynoe was chosen for?
For the entire year, the name Dr. Vince Adams was being talked about in AFC circles to head the Department of Energy (DoE). Dr. Adams is an energy specialist who rose very high in the Department of Energy in the Obama Administration. I was hearing about his recommendation to President Granger by AFC leaders so one day I approached him and put the question directly to him.
I said, “I heard your name is circulating to head the DoE, would you accept it if offered.” His answer was unambiguous. He said he would.
From what I gathered it would seem that Adams’s appointment was a foregone conclusion because as Adams said to me, he enjoys a very sound relation with both the leadership of the AFC and PNC and the PNC diaspora. So what happened? Over to the AFC.
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