Oil was struck just before the PNC/AFC combine slid into office. Your Eyewitness isn’t going to expand on whether that was coincidental or not, save to confess he doesn’t believe in coincidences with billions at stake! When the PNC/AFC combine gave itself a report card for its 4-year term – with an eye on the looming elections – the Govt glibly promised the days of wine and honey were nigh upon us under its watch.
But the question is: Are we getting our fair share of wine and honey? Oil mightn’t “spoil”, as Eric Williams reminded Burnham, but it DOES run out, as Eric’s successors are finding out right now to their chagrin!!
Well, Granger handed Raphael Trotman — of Nassau fame — the job of negotiating what share of the oil and profits we were going to get from the foreign oil companies, and Trotman went without anyone with an oil background to Texas!!
It wasn’t that Trotman didn’t know he needed oil experts’ advice; he just didn’t want anyone to spoil his runnings!! So we ended up with 2 per cent royalties when the African country Uganda, which he’d visited to be “mentored” about oil, had gotten 15 per cent!! Then he “negotiated” a signing bonus of US$18 million when Brazil received US$700 million for a similar find!!
But the rape didn’t stop there. The oil companies could recover up to 75 per cent of their costs before profits would be declared, leaving the remaining 25 per cent to be split half-and-half.
But not really. In Uganda, the oil companies would have to pay the 30 per cent corporate taxes from their profits – as all companies are supposed to do. But not with Guyana!! Here, Trotman arranged FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE OIL COMPANIES’ TAXES!! Can you believe this?? The oil companies get 75 per cent of profits and WE pay their taxes from our measly 25 per cent!! Well, for deals like these, the President of Equatorial Guinea had US$700 million deposited into his bank accounts in the Riggs Bank in Washington DC!!
But all of that happened back in 2016. What have the PNC done since? Have they at least locked the valves, since the oil hasn’t actually flowed out?? Well, they did transfer Trotman out of Oil, but placed it into the hands of a Granger-friendly ENVIRONMENT expert!!
So how could anyone be surprised we still haven’t locked down arrangements to find out how to measure how much oil the oil companies would be “lifting”?? Or whether an oil refinery would be beneficial to us or not? Or whether we would get any of the gas to use?
But don’t blame the oil companies; their mission is to maximise profits for their shareholders.
While PNC officials maximise it for THEMSELVES!!
…on lean governance
When the PNC/AFC sidled into Government, one of their major promises was “lean and clean” governance. Well, with even their well-wishers bemoaning the corruption that has enveloped their administration, “clean gone fuh channa”!! So how about “lean”?? Well, they quickly substituted “mean”, and fired hundreds of PPP appointees in the Public Service and in other support services in Government.
Now, if they’d just done that, you’d think they were just cleaning up the alleged PPP bloating. But instead, in every instance of a firing, they hired “one of their own” and then some!! The policy was later to be enunciated by Volda Lawrence, Chair of the PNC: Only friends and members of the PNC “will get wuk”! If you doubt your Eyewitness, just take a gander at the “contract” workers in the Government Ministries! In 2017, the Ministry of the Presidency alone expended over $969 million on payment for 309 contract workers!
And if the Director of the Public Service College got $1.9 million monthly, imagine what his new boss Roopnaraine will get!! Or son-in-law Gaskin!!
…on abuse victims
The major reasons why the epidemic of intimate partner abuse keeps growing is the fear of the “junior” partner, as to “where they’ll go” and then deny the abuse.
Like with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and the AG!!