Dec 23, 2019 News
Guarantees that petroleum production will be transformative for Guyana’s economic development and usher in prosperity for the people of the country are non-existent, according to the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP).
The parliamentary opposition gave its gloomy outlook over the weekend, on the short term fortunes of the nascent oil and gas industry.
According to the PPP, the announcement of ‘first oil’ should have fueled the hopes and aspirations of Guyanese across the country, given the opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Instead, the PPP suggests that the announcement has “morphed into a cause for greater apprehension about our future, due to the incompetence and corruption that the APNU+AFC Coalition have demonstrated in the developing sector over the past four-plus years.”
The party said it believes there can only be positive advances if the oil monies are well managed and that the coalition has demonstrated its inability in this regard.
According to the parliamentary opposition party, President David Granger’s stewardship has been found wanting and that his “Decade of Development’ mantra as the panacea for finally fulfilling the ‘good life,’ exposes his penchant for declaratory statements and sloganeering.
The PPP in its missive suggests, “instead, what obtains under his (Granger’s) stewardship is a plethora of failures…Granger’s record in office, even outside the oil and gas sector, reflects the same story: increased borrowing”
It was stated by the opposition that just months out from the March 2020 General and Regional Elections, it has already made public details on its plans for the oil and gas sector, with in-depth policies and initiatives to be disclosed when the Party’s 2020-2025 manifesto is launched in January 2020.
“We urge all Guyanese to read our eight-page excerpt of the manifesto, which details elements of our planned approach to the sector on issues that include transparent management and a strong regulatory body, as well as plans for the use of resources from the oil and gas sector…” it said.
The party was adamant the 2016 re-negotiation of the ExxonMobil contract resulted in losses for Guyana and tops the list of the Coalition’s indefensible failures in the oil and gas sector.
The party further drew reference to the receipt of a US$18M signing bonus that “can be considered the most talked about consequence of a poorly re-negotiated contract, since Guyana could have secured a higher sum.”
According to the PPP, Guyana’s national budget estimates for 2017, 2018 and 2019 did not reflect receipt of the US$18M, which is what should have been done.
As such, the party questions “how then can Granger be trusted when he claims that the Coalition will manage petroleum revenues prudently to ensure fiscal discipline when Guyanese are aware of the evidenced failures with the first receipt of oil monies?”
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