BY MICHAEL YOUNGE
The Government of Guyana has confirmed this morning that it will be releasing the controversial agreement it inked with US-based oil giant, ExxonMobil back in 2016 which saw the company paying over a whopping $US18M as a bonus.
That bonus was stashed by the Government and kept a secret on the instruction of President David Granger until a whistle blower leaked a letter confirming that the money had indeed being paid over to the Government. The revelation was significant because both the Finance Minister Winston Jordan and the Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had denied the existence of the bonus when questioned by the media.
“In a matter of hours, the Ministry will indeed make the agreement available for public scrutiny and to the media. I don’t know what form the release will take but I know we discussed it and the release has been approved”, a source with the Ministry of the Presidency confirmed this morning.
It is still not clear whether the entire agreement will be released as certain portions are governed by strict confidentiality clauses.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had insisted for months that the signing bonus was paid to Government but was not paid into the public coffers or Consolidated Fund. He chastised the Government for holding the money illegally and not following the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act. He also called for both Ministers to be disciplined for misleading the public on the matter.