Kaieteur News – Scandals sell because there is a ready-made market for saucy, sensational and salacious news. From today onward all eyes will be set on and ears will be perked awaiting details of the Vice News feature about Guyana.
The Vice News feature will be eagerly anticipated. The greatest interest will be about what one Mr. Su said or did not say, if indeed Vice News decides to feature this gentleman’s comments.
But whatever scandals emerge from that feature pales in significance to two other major stories which have been featured ad nauseam in this newspaper. Those stories relate to the agreements reached in relation to the Kaieteur and Canje oil blocks, and the Production Sharing Agreement signed between the Government of Guyana and the local subsidiaries of ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC.
It is being reported that the Canadian oil company CGX is expected to relinquish the Demerara and Berbice blocks for which no production has started and only limited exploration pursued. Later reports have however indicated that CGX may hold on to the Corentyne block and relinquish the Demerara block.
But the government has not said whether it will demand that the owners of the Kaieteur and Canje block relinquish those blocks. There should be no double standards; if CGX is going to be asked to relinquish blocks in accordance with its agreement, the same principle should apply to the Canje and Kaieteur blocks.
Because of the fine work being done by Glenn Lall, the publisher of this newspaper, Guyanese are becoming more aware of the highly flawed agreements which were signed relating to the Canje and Kaieteur blocks. Those blocks are the patrimony of Guyana and therefore belong to the people. They cannot be disposed of or developed for a pittance return. These oil blocks must be returned to the State and a full Commission of Inquiry must be held into the circumstances under which these blocks were given out. Wherever the chips fall, let them fall.
The PPP/C has been in government for more than two years. Onto now it is yet to indicate whether the Cabinet records of the APNU+AFC indicate that the Production Sharing Agreement with Esso, Hess and CNOOC, was ever brought to Cabinet and ever received the sanction of the then President of Guyana, David Granger.
The petroleum advisor to President Granger, Jan Mangal, is on record as saying that when he told President Granger about the agreement, he, the President, appeared surprised. The Cabinet records would indicate whether or not the contract was discussed at that level.
It would be highly unusual for such an important agreement not to have been discussed by Cabinet. And if the agreement was signed without the direct consent of the President, it can be subject to a legal challenge of being null and void.
The nation owes a debt of gratitude to David Granger for making the agreement public, belated as it was. The unanswered question, however, is whether the agreement was inked without his authorisation or knowledge.
The public therefore has to press for action on these two fronts. They must demand that the Canje and Kaieteur blocks be relinquished back to the State and that there be confirmation as to whether the Production Sharing Agreement between the government and Exxon and its partners was signed behind the back of President Granger.
The PPP/C, for reasons for which it knows best and which has been the subject of speculation, has so far not been indulgent on this issue. But it should have in its possession the Cabinet records for the period just prior to the signing of the agreement. It would therefore be in a position to determine whether the Production Sharing Agreement was brought before Cabinet and also whether the Signing Bonus issue was ever discussed at Cabinet.
Any scandals concerning the Vice News feature on Guyana is expected to dissipate eventually. The public’s craving for scandals is of such that there is constant need for newer and bigger scandals.
What will not disappear however are the swirling questions and controversies concerning the giving out of the Kaieteur and Canje blocks and the terms of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Exxon and its partners. Those developments have shortchanged the people of Guyana. It has deprived them of the only opportunity they will ever have of ensuring a good quality life in a short span.
Guyanese therefore must not lose sight of the prize. The bigger and more germane issue are those concerning the oil blocks and the PSA – Guyanese must stay attuned to these issues as much as they are dying to know what Su said or did not say.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Jun 30, 2022Kaieteur News – Regal Legends will be the only Guyanese team that will be competing in the New York Softball Cricket League Independence Cup which is set for July 1-3 at Queens and Brooklyn....
Jun 30, 2022
Jun 30, 2022
Jun 30, 2022
Jun 29, 2022
Jun 29, 2022
Kaieteur News – My column was already in when the protestors physically attacked Indian vendors and robbed them at... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]