Sep 20, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The PPP/C Government, the President, and the Vice President have all dug in their heels, showed their hands, and set their faces in steel. The heinous 2016 oil contract will not be renegotiated, not for years to come. This is confirmed by the headline “Govt. says… ‘Guyana must wait 14 years before change to ‘lopsided’ Exxon contract’” (KN September 19). This was what was frequently confirmed by the slipperiness of Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, when he did his best to avoid being pinned down on giving a definitive answer on renegotiation of Guyana’s criminal oil contract with ExxonMobil. It is what President and Ministers have denounced as the worst thing ever to happen to Guyana.
The PPP/C Government has acknowledged that the change in the 2016 contract effected in 2019 is an instance of renegotiation. The recognition of this amendment involving the non-recoverability of the 2% royalty is an encouraging and solid first step, no matter how grudging, how forced it was by circumstances. Though that is a good development, it is not enough. This is all because it is as good as guaranteed that neither of the most senior decision makers in the PPP/C Government, President Ali or Vice President Jagdeo, are going to budge from their present position of no renegotiation of the 2016 oil contract. Regardless of what this could mean on the positive side for poor, struggling, and expectant Guyanese, Government and leaders are not going to move an inch on renegotiation.
This is not wholly unexpected for all that one has to do is listen to the Vice President when the issue of renegotiation comes up, and what the first words out of his mouth are. Vice President Jagdeo almost always starts out by highlighting the risks of the foreign oil investors and the returns that they should get. How it should be fair and encouraging, and so forth. We at this paper cannot agree more, but the risks and returns of investors in our oil sector must not be the first consideration of Vice President Jagdeo, or any leader or Minister in the Cabinet. Instead, the wellbeing of the Guyanese people, all of them, must be the foremost concern of both the PPP/C Government and the Coalition APNU+AFC Opposition.
Because the contract is so cheap, so lopsided, and so scant in the fullness of rich benefits that are due to all Guyanese, both Government and Opposition ought to make, must make, renegotiation of the contract their first priority. It helps that the 2019 change for non-recoverability of royalty sets a precedent, and this should be tested for all that it is worth to get more in other areas that are need of urgent enhancing in the contract. As examples, we put on the table the current royalty rate, the taxes not paid by ExxonMobil, and ring-fencing provisions. All of these (and others) are costing Guyana an arm and a leg in millions, likely billions, in American dollars given up without so much as a hard fight.
The new word and phrase of opportunity and convenience from the lips of the PPP/C Government is that full renegotiation cannot happen due to sanctity of contract. It is our position that that sanctity went out the window in 2019. Further, we remind the President, Vice President, and the Government that they all also have a contract with the people of Guyana, and that it is more sacred. This is what is being violated in the most cavalier manner by our Politicians on both sides of the local divide. The Opposition must lend its voice in a more potent and sustained fashion to the calls for renegotiation of the contract.
This renegotiation must start from now, and not be held up for another year, much less a decade and more. Renegotiation must become a hymn and a battle song for all Guyanese. The same energies and passions that were on full display during the demanding 2020 elections season should be rekindled and released into our streets and communication platforms. If we don’t take our destiny into our own hands, then outsiders will seize it from us, and our Politicians will partner with them to deceive us and devastate our dreams.
Sep 25, 2022(Cricinfo) – Bangladesh and Ireland have booked their places at the next women’s T20 World Cup, to be held in South Africa early next year. In the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament...
Sep 25, 2022
Sep 25, 2022
Sep 25, 2022
Sep 25, 2022
Sep 25, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – “Every bullet, every bomb, every shell that hits a target in Ukraine, hits... 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]