Wrap up… on Budget Debate

If your Eyewitness didn’t know better, he’d swear the Opposition were trying to goad the PPP MPs to join them in adding so much hot air into the atmosphere that the former’s LCDS goals would be irretrievably ruined!! Cause, in the week-long “debate”, it was all heat and very little light – which ain’t good for our global warming commitments!! As it was, the Opposition weren’t interested in the debate per se, since many generally left the hall when the Government MPs were speaking.
Now, it may appear your Eyewitness is focusing on form, and not substance. But if we want to move ahead in this country, we gotta follow the forms designed to make the other side to listen. Because if we ain’t listening to each other, how can we even cooperate on matters on which the two sides may be in agreement? Take, for instance, the record $94 billion spending on Education. Do the Opposition really disagree with the 20,000 GOAL scholarship programme?? Did they listen to Minister Parag’s statement that 48% of the awardees up to the end of 2022 were African Guyanese?? Did it cross their minds that they can mobilise these trained individuals to move to the next level and earn their trust – and votes?? Or have they conceded them to the PPP??
Or, the $84.9 billion budgeted for Health. Do they really think we don’t need the pediatric and maternal hospital to be constructed?? Do they really accept the atrocious maternal death rate in this day and age?? Then there are the six regional hospitals on the cards: isn’t it high time that each of the hospitals in the regions be brought up to a level of being equipped for medical care, so that patients don’t die while being medevacked? The upgrade of the New Amsterdam and Georgetown hospitals has to be a plus, no??
Now, while the Budget measures to assist various sectors, like pensioners and schoolchildren, could’ve been bigger, surely the Government can be congratulated for not completely abandoning our welfare policies – as is happening even in developed economies like Britain!! Heard about their sick sleeping in the hallways of hospitals cause there ain’t enough beds?? And why are the Opposition so opposed to the infrastructure investment?? They really think that we can progress without fixing that road to the airport; a new bridge across the Demerara River etc? Or we should wait another decade for the AFHEP “clean energy”, and not use our gas to generate electricity cheaply – to make our manufacturing sector competitive??
Anyhow, now that the screaming matches are over, the Government better deliver the goods. 2025 is coming up, and voters will be judging them at the polls!!
Watch them!!

…CGX challenges
If he thought it’d help, your Eyewitness would pray that the latest well spudded by CGX in their block off the Berbice Coast hits the black gold pouring out of the Stabroek Block to its west!! But he knows that the dice were already rolled eons ago when our sunken forests were transmuted by pressure and heat into the oil. Guyanese should remember that while Exxon had that contract for 600 blocks since 1999, they sat on it – even though a satellite-generated US Geologic survey showed there was oil “under them thar Atlantic waters”!!
It was tiny CGX that started the (drilling) ball rolling – only to be chased away by Surinamese gunboats. We took recourse to the World Court, emerged winning, and had our maritime border with our eastern neighbour fixed for good measure!! But sadly, the underfunded CGX, after returning to drilling, hit five dry holes.
It brought home the point that Deep Water oil exploration ain’t for the faint-hearted – or bereft of deep pockets!!

…on Trini gas
While courting us for our gas, the Trinis were two-timing us with the Venezs. The US just licensed to exploit the latter’s Dragon gas field. With no cash payments permitted, the Trinis says they’ll barter food.
From us??