Former Guyana Minister hates the deal signed with ExxonMobil in 2015, we need to get a better deal
Petroleumworld 08 23 2018
While expressing happiness with ExxonMobil's presence to recover oil, former Government Minister, Manzoor Nadir said that he hates the deal signed by the Coalition Government following the discovery of oil in 2015.
Nonetheless, he is of the opinion that until ExxonMobil returns to the table to change the deal, Guyanese should begin to build political consensus on how to utilise oil revenues and avoid wastage.
“I am happy that Exxon is here to get oil out the ground, but I hate the deal. Even the parking meter deal was better than the Exxon deal, because we are basically getting 2% off the top in royalties and 12.5% which is a total 14.5%. The parking meter gave the city council 20% and the national lottery gave us 23%,” Nadir explained.
He said that he does not subscribe to those apologetic ministers of Government who continue to urge citizens and groups to ‘get off of Exxon's back'.
“We can't get off of Exxon's back: we have to live on their backs not like a leech, but like a rice eater who is making sure that their owners hear their bark so that they can get up and do something. The owners are the people of Guyana, not Exxon.”
“We have to change the concept, and I commend Kaieteur News, Christopher Ram and the others for at least keeping this issue alive. Exposing some of what has happened. Exxon is no angel. We are glad they are here to help get the oil out of the ground, but they are not our saviour,” Nadir stated.
He reasoned that oil revenues are paying for all the capital cost. According to Nadir, new contracts should have the Government owning part of the capital.
“Yes we've got to get a better deal out of the oil revenues, which Exxon will generate and that can only happen with constant pressure on Exxon,” Nadir stated.
He said ‘this little Eldorado that we have' requires political consensus. According to Nadir, it requires political parties to sit down at the table and instead of wrangling, make decisions for the benefit of all Guyanese.
Nadir recently told Kaieteur News that he supports the idea of a portion of the oil revenue going towards cash payments to citizens, but he wants the matter to be put to a referendum. His view is that the cash payments should be made to police, nurses and students.
However, he still sees this issue and other important industry matters becoming ‘political footballs'.
“The existing Government will come and say give each citizen US$1,000. A week before the elections in 2020, the Opposition will come back and say Prof. Clive Thomas had said US$5,000, we will give you US$5,000 and that is where the political football will be. We need to sit down and say what amount will go towards savings, an amount will go to direct payments to people, and the rest will be available to government to do whatever they want with priority being given to certain matters,” Nadir stated.
Story from Kaieteur News
kaieteurnewsonline.com 08 23 2018
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