Assets…for all people

A home is probably the first substantial asset an average person’s gonna own. After slavery, in a remarkable act of asserting their humanity, the newly-freed Africans pooled their hard-earned savings to buy abandoned plantations to build their own houses!! “Hard earned” wasn’t just an expression because there were no Banks to offer them loans or mortgages.
“Hard earned” is because they were only PAID for work done AFTER they’d completed their assigned tasks for FREE as “apprentices”. The time-expired indentured labourers followed suit with home ownership as wealth.
Well, in Guyana, there’s a big brouhaha – not no DEBATE – about who’s getting all the WEALTH in Guyana. Now, this wasn’t unexpected – cause after two centuries of fighting for scraps from the master’s table, when we hit that unexpected oil bonanza, $$$signs appeared before everybody’s eyes!! Hadn’t we seen what oil $$$ could do for previously poverty-stricken backwater colonies?? Think the entire Arabian Peninsula!! Especially Abu Dhabi with its skyscrapers literally scraping the skies and its artificial beaches giving our Caribbean ones more than a run for their money!!
But we gotta be real – if Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Abu Dhabi!! Their oil started flowing back in the late 1930s and with careful planning, they only started transforming their country in the sixties – over TWO DECADES LATER!! Now, this doesn’t mean that we gotta wait two decades for us to share in our new wealth!! But for sure we shouldn’t listen to the Opposition that after three years we should all be tooling round in Lamborghinis!! Even if your Eyewitness is exaggerating a tad, the US$5000 ANNUALLY EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN GUYANA – all 230,000 of them – would amount to US$1,150,000,000 a year!! What’ll be left to develop the country??
Was that the way Abu Dhabi did it?? No siree Bob!! Since they were living in a desert where there wasn’t even water – in fact, they struck oil while looking for water!! – they first built all the infrastructure that it takes to live like the rich folks up north!! Yep…the Europeans and the Yanks were THEIR models too!! But isn’t this what the PPP Government’s doing?? Just take a walk in your village or ward – ANY VILLAGE OR WARD – and you’ll stumble across some bridge, road, building, or factory going up!! Not to mention mega bucks being pumped into agriculture etc to short-circuit that dreaded Dutch Disease!!!
But the individual family hasn’t been left behind. The Government announced that that basic unit of wealth was made possible for over 11,000 families by giving them house lots – plus providing the wherewithal to construct houses!!
With over 50 per cent going to African-Guyanese and 7000 to women!! What discrimination??

…in forests
Some people don’t just look at gift horses in the mouth – they kick them in their nuts!! Take for instance the US$750 million deal in Carbon Credits the Government just signed with Hess. With 15 per cent going to our Indigenous Peoples – who take care of those carbon-sequestering forests!! Already there are some who’re claiming this was a sweetheart deal and the Government could’ve gotten more!! Up to US$70/ tCO2!!
It just shows how our own people are always poised to stab the PPP Government in the back. They clearly don’t know that all carbon credits aren’t the same. The Hess price is among the highest-ever paid for FOREST carbon credits. The most recent published pricing for global forest carbon credits in 2020 was between $2 and $10 per credit. For instance, one report states: “average price for African forestry credits – $10.38/tCO2 – is the second highest regional average, with Oceania taking the lead at $12.97”.
In comparison, the Hess price ranges between US$15 and US$25/tCO2!!

…in health
One of our positive features has been our diversified private health sector. Even when Burnham’s PNC nationalised 80 per cent of the economy, they didn’t touch the private hospitals that had been around for decades.
Kudos to the group launching the one in West Demerara!!