Guyana's PPP open to scrutiny of oil blocks awarded during its time – Jagdeo
By Kaieter News
Petroleumworld 06 22 2018
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, says that the People's Progressive Party (PPP) would be open to scrutiny of any contracts it had signed as it relates to oil blocks.
Jagdeo's comments come in wake of a call by former Presidential Advisor, Dr. Jan Mangal for an investigation into all oil blocks given out under the PPP.
Dr. Mangal in a statement to the media over the weekend, said he suspects that Guyana lost out on tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars due to highly inappropriate or corrupt practices by the PPP regime.
But the Opposition Leader believes that the former Presidential Advisor is only making such comments in hopes of regaining employment with the government after the summer.
Jagdeo said, “I think he wants to get his contract renewed. Why didn't he say that all along? If he did say this, then I find it strange that he wouldn't give more commentary on the existing contracts…”
The Opposition Leader said, too, that Dr. Mangal should note the fact that the 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil is far worse that 1999 PSA signed by the PPP.
Be that as it may, Jagdeo said, “I would suspect that the PPP has no issue with any contract that we signed being examined and if people are not doing what they are supposed to do in accordance with the contract, then take back the properties…”
WORD OF CAUTION
While Dr. Mangal had called for an investigation, he also issued a word of caution to the current administration as it relates to the announcement by the Ministry of Natural Resources to hire a consultant to help negotiate the remaining blocks.
Dr. Mangal said that this is not the way to go. He said that all efforts in this regard should be halted.
The former Presidential Advisor said, “There is no rush to award the remaining blocks, and there is time to do it properly. The current administration risks repeating the same mistakes if they rush.”
The Oil and Gas Consultant insists that before this is to take place, Guyana must equip itself with the most ethical and professional individuals in the industry.
Further to this, Dr. Mangal said he believes this new industry can be tremendously transformative for the poor people of Guyana if handled well.
He noted however that the only way this new industry will be successful and sustainable in a way that benefits the poor people of Guyana, is for local authorities to negotiate hard , be prepared to walk away from a particular negotiating table, and for the authorities to hire the best and the most ethical, etc.
“If we do not get a fair deal, and also prove that we can manage the revenues well, it will backfire. Already we are seeing many negative signs. The cost of living is increasing but the salaries of the majority are unlikely to be, hence the poor may already have started to get poorer. This is unacceptable, especially since there are so many lessons from around the world on how to manage things well, and on how not to manage things.”
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