Head of Transparency International Guyana Inc. (TIGI), Dr. Troy Thomas, is pleased with the recent disclosure that the award of offshore o
il blocks to the likes of ExxonMobil is being probed by the State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA).
The news of the investigation by SARA was first reported by Bloomberg.com, which quoted the agency’s head, Dr. Clive Thomas, as saying that the Stabroek, Kaieteur and Canje Blocks, all operated by ExxonMobil, will be part of the inquiry, as well as Orinduik Block operated by Tullow. The Kaieteur and Canje Blocks were given out by the Ramotar administration just days before the 2015 General and Regional Elections.
Speaking with this newspaper last night, TIGI’s head said he is supportive of the probe since the circumstances under which the blocks were given out do raise concerns.
The TIGI Head said, “…I know former President Donald Ramotar had rebutted arguments about the giveaway of our assets just before elections. But I think a full investigation would serve us well…The award of contracts should be an open process, especially as it relates to oil. I don’t think we can afford for contracts to be done in the dark.”
The official added, “At the end of the day, people have a right to know how their resources are being given out. So SARA is doing the right thing in this regard…”
The TIGI Head said that SARA’s investigation should also ascertain what scope there might be for reclaiming any of the offshore assets that were not awarded in a fair manner.
He said too, that the anti-corruption body should hire all the technical help it needs to ensure this investigation it is pursuing is a success as it is a matter of national interest.
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