Sep 29, 2020 Letters
The country is deeply troubled by the giveaway of US$55 billions on only the Stabroek Block. We were led to believe that approval of Payara would have a compensating effect of the money lost. Instead, we stand to lose tens of billions more from these other blocks. There are some half a dozen oil blocks, so count how much money the country is losing – hundreds of billions in American dollars. You can be sure that a few crooked politicians are getting a portion of that loot no matter which side is in government and in opposition. The people won’t get much, just a few scraps of maybe a hundred million a year while the crooks run all the way to the bank with their billions.
All three political sides are guilty of giving away our oil resources. Each side has a small bunch working in tandem with the oil companies to rape oil resources. No one was investigated from 2015 when the oil blocks were given away just before the regime demitted office. And no one would be investigated now for signing lopsided contracts under the preceding regime. And no one would be held accountable for the Payara Review. But KN that exposed fraud was sued in court and has to pay big money for telling the truth about who is stealing from this country.
We all are wondering who is the US $7 billion man and that is for only one oil block. More billionaires would be created for other blocks. Payara would have its own billionaire.
On the Payara Block, during the election campaign, a commitment was made to renegotiate the contract before approval is granted. We are told the review would be made public before approval but we were fooled. Now, we are told that the Payara development is signed and that some time in the future, we would see the review and that the agreement would also be made public. Don’t count on that! Is that any different from under PNC? Transparency doesn’t work that way. You make the review public for scrutiny and then consult the population for approval, and if the public does not like it you return to renegotiation table for the right amount that would go the people. Other than racism, is the current administration better than its predecessor on integrity and accountability?
The magnitude of the current give away is unbelievable. Just for this block relating to Payara, we would have lost tens of billions in American dollars. With one signature of the pen, the current administration would have done more financial harm to the country than what the PNC did for the 26 years of its dictatorship combined with last five years of abuses. The current deal exceeds 26 years of our earnings under PNC. Was a deal cut for free and fair elections in exchange for raping the country’s oil resources?
Even if a deal were made for free and fair election and a democratic change in administration, at a minimum the government should have cornered Exxon to demand that Payara compensate for losses in revenues under the Stabroek block.
Haresh Singh Kumar
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