…who in oil?

Your Eyewitness had asked about the details of the oil contract Trotman “re-negotiated” with Exxon over a year ago. He’s happy the issue’s gained traction, and some in civil society and the media are demanding Trotman “fess up”. All the fella’s revealed — in one of the most disingenuous statements in the annals of governance — was he’d “doubled” the royalty rate from that the PPP had signed back in 1999.

He didn’t expatiate that his “doubling” meant Guyana would be getting a measly 2% of revenues in an industry where the average royalty’s between 7% and 10%!!! The PPP had agreed to 1% at a time when no one knew if there was oil under that part of the ocean…and had to bend over backwards to attract a credible operator like Exxon.

Trotman, on the other hand, was “re-negotiating” at a time when that contract had expired – and IT WAS CONFIRMED Exxon had struck a world-class oil field!! Exxon could’ve been taken to the cleaners!

Guyanese will one day find out what happened during those “re-negotiations”. As a caution, an ex-Nigerian oil minister, on the lam for money-laundering, just had her US$37.5 million property seized. Here, a new issue has surfaced that’s already drawn sharp criticism — the details in the new Petroleum Act that gives so much power to – guess who??! – Trotman! Clause 8 of the Act makes the Petroleum Commission his handmaiden, if not his chamber maid. Back in the day, the chamber maids’ job was to carry out the “chamber pot” in the morning, after the monarch would’ve done the dirty during the night!

The Petroleum Commission’s supposed to oversee the Oil sector and ensure everything’s kosher. So, with Trotman holding the strings, no one will get a chance to look at squat, much less the contract. So much for the fuss about us joining EITI to ensure everything is “above board”! Everything of consequence has already passed “below board (the table)” by placing the Commission under Trotman’s skirt!

We know the Devil’s in the details, but how do we ever get to know what the horned’ fella’s up to if we don’t get to see the contract?

Guyanese have to wake up and smell the bush rum. This Eyewitness has insisted it’s the DUTY of the Exxon executives to do whatever it takes — within the law — to deliver more profits for their shareholders. Their trail of lawsuits and fines from Alaska to Zanzibar show Exxon’ll push the envelope on what’s the law. Unfortunately, Guyana’s represented by Trotman, who’s more concerned about Exxon than Guyana.

Pick sense from nonsense: if Trotman REVEALED a 2% royalty…imagine what’s he’s hiding!!

…Chinese reservists

One of the under-commented occurrences that’s increasing in our dear mud-land is about the robberies, murders, and other attacks on Chinese restaurants and their owners. With the rise of China as a global power, there was an expected parallel increase in Chinese businessmen and construction/project personnel. But whether spontaneously or as official policy — following in the former’s wake — there have been other Chinese migrants who’ve gravitated in retailing and restaurants.

They’re everywhere in Guyana. With their immigrant drive for economic advancement and willingness to use the one factor of production – labour and time – they have in abundance, they’ve become targets for night time robberies. These Chinese petty business owners are considered soft targets by the criminals, and there isn’t a week that goes by that another “incident” isn’t reported.

Over in TT, the same phenomenon’s been reported, and several victims have responded by packing up and leaving the island. Your Eyewitness believes this is one option here.

Another is Chinese gangs forming to protect their people.

…the people or party?

Well, the promise to launch a People’s Militia as an “army reserve” is now fulfilled. 400+ men and women are being trained right now – and this is only the beginning.

Will they also be asked to “fetch” ballot boxes?