The Minister of Finance was kind enough to point out that I was wrong in my contention that 28 billion dollars was standing in the Lotto funds. He informed the Nation that the account only has $500 million.
I admit that I was wrong. What I intended to say was that there exists, approximately, a total of 28 billion dollars in all the extra budgetary funds and statutory agencies within the State’s financial architecture. More fundamentally, however, the Minister completely ignored the gravamen of my contention.
In my presentation, I recalled the relentless agitation of the APNU/AFC , while they were in the Opposition, for these monies to be transferred to the Consolidated Fund; I reiterated the arguments which they advanced – that it was “unlawful and unconstitutional” for these monies to be kept out of the Consolidated Fund, and that they were so kept for ”corrupt purposes”; I drew attention to a Motion laid in the National Assembly during the Tenth Parliament, calling upon the then Government to forthwith deposit those monies into the Consolidated Fund; I referred to legal proceedings instituted in the High Court by Desmond Trotman to, inter alia, achieve this objective. The extra budgetary funds/statutory agencies, to which I referred include the Lotto funds, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the Guyana Gold Board, the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Central Housing and Planning Authority, among others.