Oct 23, 2020 Letters
As Government and opposition continues to ignore the call to investigate the giveaway of the Kaieteur and Canje Blocks, the public is privy through Kaieteur News to review the stark similarity between our give away and what happened in Senegal years ago. In Senegal, two gas- laden blocks were handed to Petro Tim, a relatively unknown and unqualified company with no experience or proven finances to develop these blocks, the company quickly sold shares, made hundreds of millions, with billions in royalties to come over the next 40 years – robbing the Senegalese people of billions from their natural endowment.
Transparency advocates had long cited how the red flags in the Senagalese gas blocks deal were overlooked and contributed to the fleecing of the Senegalese people.
These transparency advocates have constructed a road map to guide other Nations where oil and gas is found to avoid similar pitfalls. Armed with this road map, one would have expected our Government would be prudent and look for the identified “red flags” and set safeguards to protect the patrimony of the people. That did not happen! The similarities between the Kaieteur and Canje handout in comparison to the Senegalese deal can only suggest that our leaders studied the Senegalese deal and did a carbon copy – not with the intent to protect us from the robbery that plagued the Senegalese people but rather to achieve the said aggrandizement the Senegalese politicians received from the corrupt deal they orchestrated on the Senegalese people. The public would recall that this depravity was not only committed by the PPP with the resource offshore. It was done onshore before the Kaieteur and Canje sellout, where large tracts of Lands (Land is a resource too) were sold to private developers at a cheap price under the pretext that these developers were going to build houses and sell to the public at a reasonable price. Some of them resold within days, doubling the price of their investment. Some never build houses but are selling house lots at 10 times the price they bought at. As it turned out, there was no legal underpinning for these developers to do as the Government had propagandize – building houses and selling. Hence, the Coalition Government could not repossess these lands – a classic case of political aggrandizement.
Back to the oil blocks. When Jan Mangal had exposed the blatancy of the Kaieteur and Canje giveaway, it was imperative for the bickering and finger pointing between the primary suspects to take place because there was nothing to suggest that the two acted in the best interest of Guyana, neither was there any evidence of due diligence observed – the blocks were handed on a platter.
When it was announced that Exxon had already farmed in, aided, abated and facilitated by the APNU+AFC regime, at 35 percent and operator in both blocks, the plot became very simple to unravel by merely joining the dots. Exxon had locked the hierarchy of both the PPP and APNU+AFC into silence with its manipulating hand and established its legacy of corporate greed on Guyana – a familiar scenario in Exxon’s global dealings – this is the precursor to the resource curse.
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