Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, appears to be satisfied with the efforts made thus far by his party to save Guyana from being just another poor oil producing nation. He said as much at his most recent press conference.
Jagdeo told the media, “I think we did a little bit more than just point out how we feel about this contract. Indeed, we pointed out the provisions (of the contract with ExxonMobil) that we are unhappy with; and, we pointed out how badly served we were in the negotiations. We believe that a better prepared government negotiating team would have brought more benefits.”
However, Jagdeo said that that was not all his party did. He said that the party offered much more—guidance and policy positions.
The former President said, “We pointed out that we intend, through better contract administration, to make sure that we hold ExxonMobil to its commitments under the contract. Because, that is a second set of issues, the first is the bad contract negotiation; but that was done, the second now is policing what we signed on to and this government is showing incompetence doing even that.”
Jagdeo continued, “The pre-contract cost, the audit of that, I gave a suggestion. But that is something we would have seriously explored from the beginning.
“The first week after the agreement would have been signed we would have gone to tender for the top firm in the world that does auditing of oil companies and bring that company in because we do not have the capacity at this point and time.”
Jagdeo said that simultaneously, a PPP/C Government would have got about 300 of Guyana’s brightest young minds to go into rigorous training for the sector on financial and technical issues.
He said, “We would have had to spend some money and send them off so as to create a bureaucracy that is Guyanese that can tackle complex issues of this sector…I give policy positions.
“I just give you examples, leaving out issues like the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). You already know we have specific views on those matters.”
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