In its Wednesday, December 4 issue, the International Business Times, with the caption, “Guyana on the Brink of Unimaginable Oil Wealth: Is This Small, Poor Country Prepared?” published these words; “But some observers worry that immense riches might not benefit Guyana, a country that has been notoriously corrupt and burdened by high rates of poverty and unemployment.”
I suggest you read this article, because the columnist, Palash Ghosh quotes many foreign experts expressing their concern as to how the money will be spent. The columnist cites Amy Myers Jaffe, the director of the energy security and climate change program at the Council on Foreign Relations, as being skeptical.
Myers noted that; “there is no way the explosion of money will be managed properly.”
The cynicism and skepticism of many other leading experts on global business trends are produced in the article. Obviously, these people have read up on Guyana. They are right. When the anticipated wealth comes, I don’t know if I will still be writing. I don’t know what I will be doing with my life, because I am getting on in age.
Let me be unambiguous in my criticism of the people who currently inhabit the kingdoms of the PPP, PNC and AFC, so when that oil wealth is melted away like butter against the heat, my critiques will be there for researchers to read.
The leaders of these three parties are unfit to administer oil revenues. Their track records are utterly horrible. I am not saying the newcomers in the third parties are morally superior. But I know the ones who had recent power, and those now in power, have shown no patriotic responsibilities in the use of state funds.
From Jagdeo to Granger, we have seen reckless, wanton, ostentatious, insane spending that should cause every citizen over 18 years to reject the PPP, PNC and AFC in 2020.
I read that article in the International Business Times, and if the money it projects is indeed factual, then enormous wealth is coming to this country. Based on those track records from 1999 to 2019, the PPP and APNU+AFC should not be elected to have a parliamentary majority. Wasted money is going to cascade like fountain water.
My accusation of morbid financial waste by the current regime is based on UG under Ivelaw Griffith’s leadership – 2016-2019. I have written about this in several columns, and I am repeating it here, and I am sure today will not be the last. The way hundreds of millions of dollars at UG during those years were thrown away on monumental frivolities, and the government’s refusal to act because of political patronage, tells the tragic nature of this country.
For men and women in power who saw enduring poverty all over Guyana long before they were successful leaders, not to have acted to curtail reckless, ostentatious spending at UG, is a formidable indictment on their eligibility to rule this land.
The present regime will not survive scrutiny of the morbid expenditure that went on at UG from 2016, but their opponents are not making it a campaign issue. They should, and I hope they do. Here now is a fact that should generate anger in you when the subject of how oil wealth will be used comes up in any kind of conversation.
When the unions in their glorious attempts requested a forensic audit of UG, the government rejected it, settling for a mainstream audit, which is different in scope and magnitude from a forensic audit. The ordinary audit was agreed upon. When Griffith came under the microscope at contract renewal time and resigned, the government ended the audit. It was the Auditor General who showed immense courage by asserting his office’s right to continue with the process.
I am repeating what was contained several times in these columns and what I have said on two radio station interviews. Here it is; I honestly believe any PPP government would have intervened and stopped that mismanagement at UG. There was too much funds going upon the rubbish heap for a poor nation like Guyana.
I make no apology for this opinion and I will repeat it here for emphasis – no PPP government would have tolerated the insane spending that went on at UG from 2016 -2019.
The majority of Guyanese will cringe when they see how the APNU+AFC regime wasted hundreds of millions on form and not substance at UG. I am not voting for the PPP. But after what I saw at UG, the APNU+AFC coalition is unfit to rule this nation. It should not be in control of our oil wealth, period!
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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