By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – I struggled hard to find some encouraging situations from last week, and found several. Though skepticisms continue, I shelve those temporarily, and hope for the best.
It was encouraging to learn from Minister Vickram Bharrat that “Guyana to receive current world market price for oil sold to India – Minister” (KN July 13). What took so long, Minister? What was so hard about this? Surely, this price agreed upon, had to be known from the time the cock crowed before daybreak? Instead of laying into Minister Bharrat (what good is that, since his government continues merrily along?) for untimely and inexplicable delaying of this welcoming news, I simply say: thanks for the information. It would be immensely more encouraging to read of this kind of frank sharing from the beginning, and not when citizens (like me) have to raise a ruckus about secrecy and seemingly scampish leadership behaviours. Facts pertaining to this precious oil wealth must not come out under duress, and repeated pulling of teeth. It touches everyone with bad breaths, and brings much cringing. Keep it up, sir. And encourage the big boss man to do right by Guyanese with this oil. Leadership conduct along those lines would encourage.
I stay with Natural Resources Minister Bharrat and congratulate him on announcing more of the encouraging, though this one could have poisoned fangs. Let this be said: I feel for the minister, for he has been given a basket by a basket case to do work that a basket can’t hold. That is, be the good soldier, and grin and bear, while the big guys carry on with their lying, concealing, cheating ways. There are some jobs that are not worth all the money or glory in the world. But Minister Bharrat stepped up again with his latest billboard: “Private investors/consortium for gas-to-shore project” (KN July 13). That is encouraging on the face of it and all because Minster Bharrat was upfront with that disclosure. Again, I tip my hat to the Honourable Minister. I would be extremely angry if these words come back to haunt me. Because, on almost every occasion that “private investors/consortium” has surfaced here and engaged in the business of this society, it has been detrimental for us. Who got shafted and is paying the price for that bridge, while private investors collect the hog? Guyanese. Who holds the dirty end of the stick and is carrying the load with that hotel, while shady private investors reap the rewards? Guyanese again. Let me be clear: the Canje and Kaieteur Blocks secretly given away were to such so-called private investors, and look at how much skullduggery went on with the still mysterious giveaways of those two rich blocks. Minister Bharrat can be given a clean bill of health, since he was not around then, and his fingerprints and voiceprints cannot be found. But on this problematic (and already suspiciously handled) gas-to-shore project finalised for Wales, this disclosure about “private investors/consortium” should such be crooked and disastrous for Guyana will fall on his head. The other fellas (the big ones) will leave him holding the bag, and then people like me will have to come down on him like a ton of bricks. My advice to the minister is: careful. Watch with eagle eye how things shape up, and which comrades sidling up for piece of the private investor action.
More encouraging action, it was, this time from the Education Minister with “Roll-out of $3.2B cash grant initiative for school children” (KN July 13). Very good and encouraging, minister; timely and helpful, too. Now encourage Guyana some more, by ensuring that the money gets into the hands where they rightly belong. I don’t mean ‘teefin’ comrades and cronies. And Health Minster Anthony also had his own roll-out, this time with newly arrived Sputnik vaccines. I know some waiting for this now present second dose. Thanks for the disclosure of some children hospitalised from the virus. Good going, Mr. Minister.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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