…in oil stance?
Our old people say, “do fuh do na obeah” – meaning there’s nothing wrong is doing something to a party that they did to you. Minister of Business Gaskin (any relation to that fella Rambo Gaskin?) had claimed there was nothing wrong with that giant oil company flying five of them up to Texas and paying all their other expenses (shopping?). They were merely being “briefed” on our oil (NOT oily!) developments.
Well, some of the oil company’s executives just flew down (away from Harvey?) to huddle with our Government — including Pressie – and your Eyewitness wonders whether the favour was reciprocated. After all, if the giant oil company will be charging us eventually for the trips up north (There will be more, no?) why can’t we include their flights and accommodations at the Marriott when we bill them for our oil?
But your (anxious) Eyewitness is happy Pressie directed his ministers to keep us, the Guyanese public, “abreast” of “oil progress”. Pressie was very clear: “We have got to keep the public informed, to ensure that civil society does not feel that there is some underhand relationship which is injurious to the country.”
Now civil society has made very clear why it feels something “underhand” is going on — the refusal of Trotman and the Government of Guyana to make the contract with Exxon public. Just like what occurred when City Hall’s Gang of Four were flown up to Panama City by the aptly named Smart City Solutions and brought back that (infamous) contract for Parking Meters. Civil Society was concerned the Feckless Foursome hadn’t only given away the store – but the entire city! And lo and behold, so feared and so confirmed – when the contract finally saw the light of day!
Fool Civil Society once, shame on the slick businessmen; shame Civil Society twice, shame on Civil Society!! As this jaded Eyewitness has said time and again, the oil company Executives, through the years, have shown their fidelity to THEIR cause — increasing their shareholders’ net worth. While Pressie may be correct to say there may be some “aligned interests” between Guyana and the oil company, there are also “unaligned interests”.
And among these are that not-so-inconsequential matter of sharing the profits – and the rule in this matter is: “caveat emptor – Buyer beware”!! Here, Guyana’s the buyer, and we can’t afford to buy a pig in a poke.
Even though we know the oil company will be putting lipstick on the pig, for its benefit, Civil Society must get a look at the pig!
This has to be the starting point for “staying abreast”.
…in the proposed new Demerara Harbour Bridge
And here it was your (normally placid) Eyewitness thought because the Demerara Harbour Bridge was falling down (and apart), the opportunity was being used to construct another one that would cater for the future development of Region 3 and $ which the bridge connects. The pre-feasibility study done back in 2013 by engineers of the Bridge proposed a four-lane, fixed, high concrete structure that could accommodate ships passing under its span.
They even had pics of the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge Suriname had built back in the 1990s across their comparable river. But the feasibility study for the bridge was just released, and guess what? Let the Government’s report speak for itself: “It was further noted that the bridge should be a low-level one with a movable part and three-lanes.”
Imagine that!! In other words, the bridge will continue to be retractable!! The daily rush hour congestion — sure to increase as Guyana’s rate of importing 10,000 cars annually keeps heading skyward — will continue!
And at what cost?
…in the world order?
With the US reeling from Trumpism and his isolationism, China and India have resolved their border stand-off just in time for the BRICS meeting this week to fill the power vacuum.
A brave new world?