Oct 04, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The news in recent days have had more than its share of things-costly and vital things-that are mishandled, and which have gone wrong with the worst possible results for the people of this society. Today, we want to pause to marshal the interest and energy to dig behind the headlines that bring shriveling and point to how this country continues to be ruthlessly ripped off by its own, who are having a wonderful time at our expense.
But as we do so, we bring in a news story that is far different and stands in contrast to the ugly, disgusting norm. It is one which thrills and gives hope because there are those few to whom conduct clean matters, through doing business at a level largely unknown in this country.
Where to begin in this cloudy local maze is the first challenge. We should not, but we must say a word or two about that Payara licensing before there is moving on to things done right; things that inspire and set a standard to be followed. This is most applicable to all those citizens, who rail against corruption and call for clean business practices to be order of the day. Payara is context.
Because it meant so much to ExxonMobil and its visions for itself, Payara had to be approved by the drop-dead date of September 30th.
The best thing that could be said is that the Ali administration jumped through hoops and walked barefooted on burning coals to deliver its part of the bargain. So, September 30th it had to be, and it was. Lock, stock and barrel, Payara was trussed up like a pig and delivered to ExxonMobil. It is a fat, succulent pig and one from which Guyana should have-and could have-gotten so much more.
We have spoken and written about this before: ExxonMobil was wounded; now, compliments of President Irfaan Ali and his government, ExxonMobil has been thrown a lifeline and it is going to take that rope and hang us with it. There was unprecedented opportunity to squeeze something meaningful out of ExxonMobil, but the government folded and felled our hopes with it. We got a few things, but there was so much more in dollars and good sense that could have been extracted. If this is how the PPP/C government intends to be transparent and accountable, then Guyanese can kiss goodbye to the real money and prospects.
But some Guyanese showed what it takes to operate at a transparent and accountable level. It is what we offer as a contrast, when we present something different, something and someone operating at a better and higher plane. It is refreshing and should give Guyanese some hope, some strength to continue, and thankful that there are Guyanese citizens, presences, and contributors, who think along these lines, and function in this manner.
The context and details were under the banner: “Hospital developer joins in returning controversial Ogle lands to NICIL” (KN September 26). This is a story that encourages, confirms that all is not lost, and goes like this.
Cardiology Services, Inc., a group spearheaded by Managing Director, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, had expressed its interest in purchasing various plots of land in Ogle on which to build a state-of-the-art medical facility. This interest was shared as far back as 2017 with NICIL, with little movement or conclusive agreement forthcoming. No terms or details were finalized. Yet “In June 2020, without the knowledge or participation of Cardiology Services Inc, the property was vested in Cardiology Services Inc. though the financial terms of the transaction had not been completed.”
Normal, face-to-face and arm’s length business transactions are not conducted in this way. At least, honest and above the board business affairs, those involving sizable multimillion-dollar visions and investments, are simply not done, via a process clouded with the suspicious, unilateral, and what smells of the bizarre. Most people would keep quiet, go along, complete their project, start doing business, and rake in the cash.
Except that such was not the case in this instance. In an inspired and inspiring move, and as carried by KN, “According to the company, given the circumstances surrounding the vesting of the property, it has “agreed to rescind the Vesting Order without prejudice and revert title of the property to NICIL so as to enable the Government of Guyana to fulfill its mandate to ensure all lands are reclaimed unimpeded.”
This was not just unheard of in dirty, corrupt Guyana; it takes the breath away for the thinking behind not wanting to be any part of an arrangement that looks bad and is bad in its emergence, and the sudden inexplicable nature of its delivery.
Managing Director, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, and his visionary company has established a standard by taking that line to distance from the June 2020th development involving the prime lands, occurred compliments of NICIL.
We say unequivocally that Dr. Carpen and his group should be hailed and congratulated for the bold, ethical step taken. It is one that other Guyanese citizens and businesses could do well to emulate through devoting energies and matching practices that bring stirring.
Dr. Carpen would be in the company of Corum Group and Navigant Builders, who have all joined in returning the lands.
We desperately need more of this kind of conduct, this ringing standard, around here to raise the bar on all of us and to guide us forward.
Guyanese have had the longest wait without coming anywhere near to the kinds of behavior that would pave the way for a new and higher star followed, and which would challenge us to still greater heights. This has not come in any shape or form from most of our politicians, be they seasoned or new, older veterans or younger learners. This has been largely lacking in our public service personnel, whether senior or junior, to the detriment and despair of citizens. This operational modus vivendi, this culture of personal and commercial cleanliness, is more conspicuous by its glaring absence, than by its steady presence.
We must embrace and live a better standard starting today and going forward. Guyana needs this in its politics and from its politicians. The citizens of this stricken and struggling society could use it on how we manage every component of our oil blessings. We have heard so much about transparency and accountability that both now assume wide strains of vulgarity. We, as Guyanese leaders and citizens, have to stop talking so much about what is cheap to spout, but expensive and demanding to honor.
We can start today with the next deal: let it be on the able. Let it be clean.
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