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The PPP/C Government will be hosting its second Oil and Gas Conference in February 2023. However, I wish to remind Guyanese of the advice given by distinguished speakers at their first Conference in February 2022.
Presentations made by renowned world Leaders from Suriname, Barbados, and Ghana, to name a few, admonished the Government of Guyana on how this sector should be managed. Prime Minister Mia Mottley was very clear that Guyanese ought not to be treated as” tenants” in their own country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana during his presentation said, “to ensure energy sustainability, it is critical that we balance carefully social, economic and environmental benefits in a continuously changing world”. Further in his address he went on to say that “no energy project therefore, no matter how high its return in value, is worth it if the interests of some or majority of the stakeholders are not properly represented, and they are left impoverished and dissatisfied.”
If one is to reflect on the concerns and advice of these presenters, it would be realised that nothing significant has been done to-date by the PPP/C regime to ensure that Guyanese become the greatest beneficiary from our country’s oil and gas wealth. There are many questions the PPP/C regime must provide answers for.
It is approximately ten (10) months since the first Conference in February 2022, what is there for Guyanese to celebrate? Where is the transparency and accountability of the resources from this sector? The amendment to the 2019 Natural Resource Fund Act is heavily flawed and Guyanese are yet to know what the plans of the partisan downsized committee are regarding national development projects and expenditure as a whole.
What Guyanese have witnessed, over the last year, is the total mismanagement of the oil resources, discrimination and victimisation faced by some ethnic groups and vulnerable segments of the society, in the distribution of “cash grants” and “awarding of contracts.” There is no evidence of investments, budgeted or otherwise, for the health and education sectors which would benefit ALL of Guyana, in particular our pensioners and school children.
The PPP/C regime is forging onward to host another conference where millions will be expended. Unfortunately, the February 2023 Conference will be no different, rather it will be another event full of presentations by well-intentioned eminent guest speakers, propaganda and empty promises by the PPP/C Government and its partisan collaborators!