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Shadow Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Mr. Ganesh Mahipaul has accused the Government and ExxonMobil of exploiting Guyanese and said it must end.
According to Mahipaul, “the outrageous US$160M Office Campus being footed by the Guyanese taxpayers is a blatant abuse of power and a disregard for Guyanese people’s struggles in this oil producing nation.”
The Member of Parliament (MP), in a letter, said “in my inquiries to the National Assembly regarding the monitoring mechanism in place, on behalf of the Guyanese people remains pressing, for I am sure if there is proper monitoring the cost will far less than US$160M, as we must ensure that there are proper checks in place to prevent further exploitation.”
The sudden change in position from the PPP/C government, who once stated that the state will not fund Exxon’s multibillion-dollar headquarters, raises serious questions and calls for transparency and accountability, he stated.
“The Guyanese people have a right to know the details of the deal between ExxonMobil and the PPP/C government and why they are being forced to pay this exorbitant cost for this campus.”
The MP expressed the view that the funds allocated for human services, education, and health in Budget 2023 are crucial in addressing the pressing needs of Guyanese and the US$160M should be put to more important and urgent expenditure.
Yet, he said, instead, these resources are being squandered on this exorbitant project, leaving the Guyanese people to bear the burden.
The talk of an increase in staff compliment by ExxonMobil only adds to the operational expenses and reduces the benefits that the Guyanese people should be receiving from their oil production, he noted
Another question that arises is the treatment of the Guyanese staff versus the expatriates, said Mahipaul and promised to address this matter at another time.
“The PPP/C government must prove to the Guyanese people that the expenses associated with cost oil are necessary and not just another means for ExxonMobil to extract even more from this nation. The blatant disregard for the well-being of the Guyanese people is unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”
The MP further stated Guyanese should not be forced to bear US$160M to build the office for Exxon which he described as an abusive and unconscionable bill.
“It’s time for a change and for the exploitation to end.”