Please allow me space in your publication to address what I see emerging as a pattern of deception and political wizardry being foisted upon Guyanese.
I wish to draw your readers’ attention to the recent utterances of Winston Jordan, the former Minister of Finance under the APNU + AFC Coalition, the administration that has handcuffed Guyana’s future to a lopsided Petroleum Sharing Agreement (PSA) that favours oil giant ExxonMobil.
In recent times, Mr. Jordan, seemingly as an expert, has been given the platform to speak on oil and gas via the Kaieteur News. Surprisingly, Mr. Jordan is allowed to engage in this ‘political laundering’ in hopes of possibly campaigning at the next Regional and General Elections. Further, he is doing so through the pages of none other than the KN, whose publisher continues to push for a renegotiated PSA, so that Guyanese can get more than ‘mere crumbs’.
Mr. Jordan’s latest diatribe appeared in last week’s KN under the headline, “Guyana already gripped by Dutch Disease – Former Finance Minister”. Mr. Jordan’s analysis is mischievously flawed and skewed to fit the narrative of the headline. Mr. Jordan knows that the current increase in the cost of living, which is used as one of two factors to arrive at his conclusions, is not a result of local factors.
Rather, external pressures from COVID-19, and more recently the war in Ukraine, have led to increased prices for goods and commodities across the world. Several international agencies have accepted this position to the rising inflation globally. Guyana is no different.
This is as far as I am willing to directly venture on Mr. Jordan’s utterances.
Nonetheless, I wish to remind Guyanese that this is the same Minister of Finance who refused to come clean on the meagre US$18M signing bonus accepted by the previous Coalition Government. He only admitted to receiving the bonus when the information was eventually leaked to the public via a section of the media.
Mr. Jordan would do well to remind this nation about the expenditure of the US$18M signing bonus, because, as far as we are aware, the bonus went into an investment fund initially. However, for some strange reason, closer to 2020 Regional and General Elections, the bonus and accrued interest were transferred to the Consolidated Fund, and the account at the Bank of Guyana was closed.
We have not forgotten how the APNU+AFC dropped the ball.
KN publisher Mr. Glenn Lall said it best on one of his shows last week. The former administration would have us believe that Guyana was hungry and signed that ill-fated ExxonMobil contract out of desperation.
Mr. Jordan and the Coalition Government should be ashamed of their brief yet destructive stewardship of the oil and gas sector.
Before Mr. Jordan moves forward with his attempt at a political comeback, and for Guyanese to take him seriously, he must descend his high horse, claim responsibility for Guyana’s current debacle with the oil deal, and apologise personally and on behalf of the former Government.