While we’re all focusing on Christmas, which is nigh upon us, we seem to be forgetting that so is “first oil”. Is this because the oil operator informed us that the first million barrels will be heading up to their refineries in Galveston? And the Energy Director claimed this was because the “first lift of oil has too many impurities”!! Notice that the oil company stayed mum…since this would’ve opened them up to serious, severe snorts in the industry!!
But even with the oil company ensuring that the PNC Government doesn’t get its grubby big paws on the oil money before they’re booted out in March, you’d think they’d want to keep up pretences that they have a plan – at least for their party faithful – wouldn’t you?? So let’s talk a bit about what this PNC Govt should’ve been doing over the past four years. Just so you don’t get suckered by the Manifesto verbiage they’re hatching. Your riposte to them should be, “How come alyuh a now buil’ latrine, when yuh ready to sh*t??”
What’s most dispiriting about the PNC’s paralysis is the oil industry’s been around for over a century, and object lessons abound!! Let’s break this down. There are two ways in which the country can benefit after oil is struck. First comes the “Local Content” aspects that can provide employment and other benefits to service the industry. And then comes the use of the revenues that the Government receives from signing bonuses, royalties, and profit-sharing.
On “Local Content”, we knew from the beginning that while we don’t have the capabilities to drill under one mile of water and bring up oil, there are other support activities we could’ve been trained for. And demand that we be hired! Take, for instance, something like repairing or even fabricating gantries and other equipment that need top quality welders, machinists, fitters, etc. We were once able to construct ships at Sprostons which became GNIC after Burnham nationalised it and brought it to the ground. So how come the Govt didn’t start training tradesmen like these at its Technical Institutes and bring them up to ISO standards?? What the Government did instead was to shutter the premier training institute in Guyana for mechanical and electrical tradesmen – the GuySuCo Training School at Port Mourant!!
Why your Eyewitness picked this sorta training is that it is transferable to the needs of what we should be doing with the revenues that will come our way – building, at a minimum, the infrastructural basics that we so sorely lack for any kind of development. Building bridges, roads, factories, skyscrapers and other steel-framed buildings…
Gwan dat side, PNC!! Yuh na ready!
…just being Shaggy??
Looking around at the economic wasteland he created: unilaterally and vindictively firing 7000 workers in the sugar industry and allowing four estates worth at least $200 BILLION to revert to bush, gold mining firings (Troy), Bauxite firings (RUSAL), Plywood Firings (Barama) etc – Granger excuses himself and his Government by claiming he was handed a “bad hand” by the PPP!! Talking about rubbing your doo-doo on the other fella’s bamsie!!
The PPP handed the PNC the most consistent growing economy in the region; an upper Medium Income Level Country rating after inheriting a debt-ridden “Highly Indebted Poor Country” ranking with rats gnawing at babies’ toes at GPHC; with poverty rates reduced from 43% to 36% in its first decade, educational standards rebuilt, not to mention 6 months’ reserves in the treasury!! The PNC is worse than the prodigal son who frittered away his inheritance and is now for another chance, by crying “Wasn’t me!!”
The PNC fooled Guyanese once and was shame on them. If we allow them to fool us again; shame on us!!
The Tourism Head complained that “Too many festivals are just an excuse for rum drinking when they (reps from the 10 Regions) should be bringing out the cultural resources of the regions.”
But isn’t rum drinking emblematic of our culture??