Mar 23, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – According to Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, the financial feasibility of the gas-to-shore project favoured for Wales is a “no brainer” (KN March 21). We at this paper have no problems with anyone making any claim that something is a “no brainer,” and not when such comes from a figure as this country’s Vice President. But not because he said so, and only he says so, that Guyanese must take his word for it. The reality should be far from such, as circumstances have often proved, where the Vice President is concerned.
It may be an overwhelmingly huge matter for what those citizens, disagreeable Guyanese, the Vice President may readily think of, as not having, what he described as necessary to understand completely the financial feasibility of the proposed gas-to-shore project at Wales. The Vice President spoke of “Any sensible person with a modicum of sense, a tiny brain, even a residual brain, would understand that.”
Understand what, Mr. Vice President? There is nothing to understand when the Vice President has been the sinkhole of secrecy, with everything related to the project, known to him and him alone. Since it is so simple that even an imbecile or an addict, or a child, can understand the financial feasibility of this much-hailed gas-to-shore project, then it is mandatory that the Vice President shares with Guyana all that is behind this project, all that has gone into his insistence that this is a viable project, and all that is relevant to the project be put on the table for full public viewing, full public analysing, and full public commenting.
For the edification of Mr. Jagdeo, we are willing to admit that we may be lumped among those he scorns for disagreeing with him and standing against him. But give the nation the fullness of the facts on the project, and we can be converted. Since there is this profound leadership wisdom, this grand financial expertize, then we now challenge the Vice President to share the entire extent of the underpinnings of this project, in all elements and essentials, with nothing concealed. Then we can all make our own judgments and agree or disagree with what the Vice President presents in a manner that brooks neither interest in clarification nor patience with the protesting.
For emphasis: it cannot be so, just because he said so. It cannot be accepted as truth coming from God, because the Vice President has spoken from the perch that pleases him. Since this gas-to-shore project is so financially feasible and nationally viable, then there should be no need to hide anything related to it. Not a single document or development ought to be sealed; after all, it is the oil wealth, and all of its rich related features belong to the people of Guyana. It is their property, and they have the first claim on every scrap of information about it, with nothing withheld.
We must be clear: we are neither impressed nor intimidated by the Vice President and his representations in friendly circles and before applauding audiences. It was he, who knew so much that we didn’t, that he misinformed the Guyanese people on that small matter about how much gas was being flared into the atmosphere. Billions of cubic feet of gas flared may be “tiny” and “small” to Vice President Jagdeo’s mind, but those billions are big for us. And though the Vice President has converted bullying into personal standard, we are not intimidated either.
He may try to ram down the throats of Guyanese, and shame them into believing that their minds are “tiny” and “small” for not grasping what he titillates with, when he exposes that little seductive flesh about, “If you are generating power at $12 or $13 per kilowatt hour with the current price of fossil fuel…if you can supply power at $7 or $8 per kilowatt hour, a mad man would make the decision to do so….”
What the Vice President did there is what those engaged in a certain kind of nighttime street work do: they show some flesh to lure. Sooner than later, they have to deliver the real deal, and they do. Thus, in response to that disdainful question from the VP: “What else do you need?” We say show the whole thing. Bare and bring forward all the secret attractions. The stated costs, and the hidden costs, those have come back to haunt us and hurt in project after project overseen by the Vice President when he was president. He shouldn’t need any regurgitation of that costly record, which was built on secrecy and stands as his definition of financial feasibility. We name only one from yesterday today: Skeldon.
We make clear again: if this gas-to-shore project is so good, then give Guyana the goods on it. All of the goods, not what is felt like and when it pleases to do so. If it is such a “no brainer,” there is absolutely no need for the strange dances and dodges in which the VP engages, thrills himself.
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