Our national hero, Bharrat Jagdeo, who just broke the back of the PNC dictatorship trying to rig an election in front of the whole world, and who is now our illustrious Vice President (VP), has done a recent interview on oil by KN’s Kiana Wilburg.
Our VP in analyzing the current Exxon contract, highlighted numerous flaws in the contract, but while he got close to saying it, he could not bring himself to say the word “renegotiation.” Why is that so hard for him to say? It cannot be that the PPP, like the PNC, does not want to keep its promises?
Does the PPP think that if it doesn’t, that we will forget in 2025? “The masses are not asses anymore.” The PNC’s five months of torture in trying to rig has made everyone smarter.
Those who are urging the PPP to renegotiate, wants the government to be effective and Guyana to be prosperous. That’s why they are trying to help the PPP to stay on track. Not everyone who gives you authentic information [who you may not like] is an enemy. Those people might be your best friends wanting you to do the right thing and be successful. Mr. Glenn Lall and the Kaieteur News team are dedicating enormous resources in educating and warning the nation. The Oil and Gas Network in sponsoring a petition is cautioning us (OGGN – www.oggn.org; petition found at https://www.change.org/Guyana_oil_contracts_need_renegotiation). Guyanese nationalists such as Vishnu Birsam, Christopher Ram, Mike Persaud, Jan Mangal, Melinda Janki, Darshanand Khusial, and others are giving good advice. “None of us, is as strong as all of us.” If the PPP wants to squander the enormous goodwill that placed them in office, then it ignores good advice to its own peril.
I noticed on Facebook that Mr. Shuman has endorsed the petition calling for the oil contract to be renegotiated, and he is to be commended.
The new parties, who are gaining traction, will be held accountable too and must make known their positions on renegotiation. It’s just a matter of time that other parties will fight for renegotiation of the Exxon contract, and it will be a national movement. If the PPP wants to be like the PNC in not wanting to renegotiate the contract, they have chosen their destiny.
Mr. Jagdeo highlighted many points showing the deficiencies of the current Exxon contract:
1. Local contractors who don’t have duty free concessions are at a disadvantage;
2. The local content policy is deficient, and the previous government was not interested in addressing problems with local content;
3. Guyanese get less pay for the same jobs done by foreigners;
4. Our limited audit capacity makes it difficult to ensure Exxon’s expense reports are not inflated;
5. We must have adequate rules for oil spills and waste management which can run into billions, but the EPA has poor capacity;
6. We want a policy of “no flaring,” and for gas to come ashore;
7. VP Jagdeo cited the Global Witness Report which said Trotman hastily signed the Exxon contract without broad consultation. That same report said we stand to lose US$55 billion if there is no renegotiation.
The journalist asked, “How does the Champion of the Earth” felt about the flaring of 10 billion cubic feet of gas. Nation, flaring or burning of the gas that comes up with the oil still goes on now, and there goes our good life being burnt up.
If a 20-pound cylinder of gas costs G$3,400, calculate how much money we are losing every day.
Mr. Jagdeo said Guyanese “must share in the prosperity or we might as well close down the sector.”
However, the long list of PPP promises of roads, jobs, house lots, etc. requires more income from oil, so I am at a loss why the PPP is not getting it that there is a nexus between meeting urgent national needs and renegotiation of the Exxon contract. Nation, can anyone explain that to me please? We need Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP to be our Champion now and commit to doing renegotiation. Please don’t let us down.
Dr. Jerry Jailall