Jul 24, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – There is serious trouble ahead, if this country keeps barrelling down the road that it has always followed regarding the careful parenting of its natural resources wealth. This is what no less an authoritative entity than the World Bank (Bank) is warning. The word from the Bankis simple: listen, learn, get it right, do it right. When these steps are prioritised, then the results would be right, and lead to the prosperity that is due from our infant oil and gas (O&G) sector could be reaped, with all the related benefits coming to Guyanese.
We are going about oil and gas matters in the same old way, meaning, that we are getting it wrong right from the start, while our leaders make an already bad situation worse by not paying any attention to what is offered as guidance. “There is a large capacity gap at administrative and technical levels responsible for the management and oversight of Guyana’s nascent O&G sector. This includes a shortage of O&G experts in the relevant ministries and departments,” the Bank noted.
There were those wise words that we extracted from the Bank’s Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project document. “Large capacity gap” is as good as saying that we are beginners at best in the O&G business, or that what we have as expertise is so poor as to be meaningless. Similarly, “shortage of O&G experts, means just that, in that we are struggling and need all the help that we can get. This is in such crucial oversight areas as the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Guyana, and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, of which the latter is severely strapped for expert manpower. It is also noteworthy that the Bank pointed to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and identified the ‘mismatch between its human, financial, and technical (equipment/laboratories) capacity and the broad mandate that it has been assigned’ under Guyanese law. To say differently, we have the wrong people with the wrong skills doing what is a wrong job at the EPA. Yet we can afford the luxury of firing someone like Dr. Vincent Adams, the former agency head.
The technical people, the money people, and the people with the correct competencies and skills sets are either not enough to make a difference, or simply not there at all. This is a leadership tailoring of our circumstances so that we are prone to, and fall before, any disaster in the O&G sector, by doing nothing with the US$20M approved over two years hence by the Bank for direly needed capacity building. A reasonable expectation would be that the Government of Guyana leaders would appreciate all the red lights lined along our way and pay heed, as in proceeding with the utmost caution. Instead, it has been the other way around, with both the President and Vice President of Guyana boasting upon the speed at which O&G developments race head under their watch. We don’t have a well-equipped machine in our hands, lack the necessary skillful drivers at the wheel, and navigate without the advantage of a comprehensive GPS to point us in the right direction. But it is pedal to the floor and somehow, we will make it, while the way ahead automatically falls into place for us.
This is not just the height of folly, but relays the magnitude of leadership insanity. The Bank is prevented from officially documenting country concerns in this sharp manner, but we can, and we must, given that the failures of our elected leaders combine to impact us directly, and could destroy our hopes and aspirations. To pretend that all is well, or that we agree with how this O&G sector is being handled, is furthest from the truth of our convictions.
When we and others speak, the response from leaders is to denounce as ‘critics’ and ‘naysayers’ those who harbour thoughts and postures that question or clash with their damaging attitudes and actions. We now wait to hear how our leaders in this government are going to respond to the Bank’s broad, scorching condemnations of their lapses. They are going to cost us heavily, if radical adjustments in mind and deed don’t occur rapidly.
Aug 16, 2022Jeremiah Scott bagged six wickets for 27 runs from seven overs to hand One Movement CC a 135-run win over Rebels when the teams collided in a 35-over fixture on Saturday at LBI. One Movement CC...
Aug 16, 2022
Aug 16, 2022
Aug 16, 2022
Aug 16, 2022
Aug 16, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – So far in this attempt to answer the question, “Has CARICOM reached its limits... 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]