It is with much dismay I read our Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman’s, response to possible closure of RUSAL operations in Guyana.
Editor, our government’s first response to this crisis was to activate a task force to deal with the future of workers attached to RUSAL BCGI and Olendorff Carriers in April 2018; they were worried about severance benefits.
The APNU+AFC administration did not think to make representation to the United States government on behalf of the 700 workers and those precious jobs; I believe that this action is part of a pattern of behavior based on low self-esteem.
It is the same behavior exhibited when our President signs an MOU with Trinidad & Tobago for hydrocarbon development, the APNU+AFC administration bungled badly during those negotiations when, for the first time in our nation’s history we held the upper hand.
We, for the first time had the opportunity to force our CARICOM neighbor with whom we have a massive trade deficit due to their protective machinations of their market, and we blew it completely. To add insult to the injury, the Twin-island republic’s Prime Minister boldly declared that the ExxonMobil PSA could be renegotiated.
This he did whilst seated next to our President who has publicly declared the contract as sacrosanct. This inexplicable act seemed calculated to further damage H.E Granger’s self-esteem.
The second response to the RUSAL crisis is encapsulated in a statement by Minister Trotman, “The Government of Guyana would wish to have a normalisation of operations ASAP, and so if RUSAL is unable to continue, then a new partner will have to be found to develop the resource.”
I know of no new partner or major project investor so far under the APNU+AFC administration. All of the Foreign Direct Investment projects in Guyana began under the previous PPP administration. Oil our newest pillar of the economy was made possible by President Janet Jagan in 1999.
Since assuming office in 2015, APNU+AFC have created a hostile and uncertain atmosphere for investors. They have done so by bringing frivolous, politically motivated court cases against the former head of NICIL , Winston Brassington and Finance Minister Ashni Singh.
These legal challenges to incentives given to foreign companies have not gone unnoticed by potential investors, whom have now adopted a wait-and-see attitude. It was a case of cutting your nose to spoil your face.
RUSAL has been badly treated whilst providing high paying stable jobs for hundreds of employees. I do not foresee a long line of companies seeking to partner in the Bauxite industry in the near future under the current APNU+AFC administration.
Editor, Guyana could have petitioned the US State Department for an exemption to sanctions. We could have pleaded the plight of the workers. The APNU+AFC administration did not even make an attempt. We (Guyana) are now of significance to the American economy with our ever growing Oil reserves coupled with our hefty Diaspora vote in American elections.
Serious consideration would have been given to a petition for easement, but sadly our government is trapped in its begging bowl syndrome as evidenced by the presence of two ministers of Government for the signing of a paltry US$20 Million loan from the IsDB.
General Elections are due in 2020, until then it seems we are doomed to suffer many indignities as a nation led by insecure men.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
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