PPP sacks head of oil transparency body

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—replaces him with party official, Prem Misir

Government has fired the head of the local arm of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Dr Rudy Jadoopat and the Alliance For Change (AFC) said the move sends an ominous warning that “grand theft is at hand.”

In a statement on Saturday the AFC said the termination of the official is clear evidence of the consistency of PPP’s return to Kleptocracy and its focused policy to deny the Guyanese people international standard transparency.

“The Alliance For Change notes with dismay and disappointment that the PPP is carrying through with its objective of dismantling all remaining guardrails of good governance and transparency. This is so particularly with respect to our natural resources and revenues derived therefrom. Most recently, the nation watched aghast as the Natural Resource Fund legislation was rammed through parliament and then all proceeds siphoned off in Budget 2022. Now, the regime’s termination of Dr. Rudy Jadoopat.”

Dr Rudy Jadoopat

The AFC noted that under the previous APNU+AFC administration, and with the coming oil production, deliberate and purposeful steps were taken to establish the Norway based EITI in Guyana and to secure membership with the international body. This was done in record time, the party said and in 2017, a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) was launched and a National Coordinator, in the person of Dr. Rudy Jadoopat, an Economist, was retained to lead a professional GYEITI National Secretariat. “Steady progress was made despite challenges and roadblocks erected to frustrate the implementation of the initiative. GYEITI grew exponentially from 2017 to 2021 under his astute stewardship,” the AFC said.

According to the AFC since coming into office however, the PPP has slowly whittled away at the independence and efficacy of the GYEITI by frustrating its work and demoralising the staff and the Multi-Stakeholder Group, which is the decision-making body according to the EITI International Standard. “Now, with the sending off of Dr. Jadoopat, it appears that the plan to deny adequate professional scrutiny of the proceeds of the extractive sector, oil revenues in particular, is complete, as he is being replaced by a PPP ‘yesman’, Dr. Prem Misir. This is the crux of the matter, putting ‘yesmen’ to replace highly qualified professionals who make the best decisions in the interest of the people of Guyana, and not necessarily the political party in power,” the AFC release stated.

“It is well known that transparency is the biggest obstacle for thieves. It appears that with the draining of the Natural Resource Fund, and the denuding of GYEITI, the PPP is setting the stage for the dismantling of all the possible obstacles which are in place to prevent a few known PPP proven slick hustlers from gorging at the national patrimony,” the AFC stated.

The party said members of civil society sector of the GYEITI MSG, the decision making body should be very angry about what is taking place, including, bringing a proven PPP ‘yesman’ to replace a proven excellent professional, internationally recognized. “The US, UK, EU and Canada, even the International Oil Companies (IOCs), have regarded Rudy Jadoopat as an astute and towering professional in every respect. All Guyana, all Guyanese should embrace and welcome, not chase and chastise such highly qualified citizens of Guyana. It is obvious and unfortunate that by its actions the PPP is recklessly entombing good governance, transparency and accountability – to be replaced by widespread graft and corruption. The kleptocracy of their 23 years / last two decades has reared its ugly head again. Guyanese will not be fooled this time. Action and reaction be the rule this time around, and faster, stronger, more decisive condemnation,” the AFC stated.

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