The IMF, like most international agencies, work with governments, and as such, have to be diplomatic in their pronouncements. So when they warned the Government not to rush into spending the oil money when it starts flowing in 2020, they couldn’t come out and bluntly say it’s because they’ve concluded most of it would be “siphoned off” into the pockets of friends, families and contributors of the Government! So they instead said the “management systems” need to be improved!!
Now, this “management system” to deal with pilfering from the public purse was introduced since the beginning of the new millennium. It’s called the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), and was in place when the PNC and its soulmate, the AFC, accused the PPP of “siphoning off billions and billions”. So, after three years in office – and innumerable audits — the Government hasn’t closed any loopholes there might’ve been, that allowed the said pilferings??
Well, clearly, the IMF doesn’t think so…and from the amount of chicanery going on at all levels, the people also KNOW so. A billion here (D’Urban Park Stadium) and a billion there (pharma contracts) and pretty soon you’re talking about real money!!
And the two circumstances – the drained treasury and the coming money spigot – aren’t unrelated. The latter has caused the former. The Government types are so excited about the oil money – and more to the point, what they’ll do once they get their grubby little paws on it – they’ve let the present economy go completely to the dogs. We’re sliding fast into what everybody and their uncle warned about once oil was struck – Dutch Disease. But don’t tell that to the Government. It’s all about getting a (big) piece of that oil money.
Now, on the spending, several Government big ones are talking about plunking the money into “infrastructure”, but we’re getting mixed signals on this. The Finance Minister’s talking about PPP – naaah, not their political nemesis, but Public/Private Partnerships — for mega infrastructural projects, but others are pushing the oil money. After what the Government’s doing on the first PPP Guyana tried – the BBCI — they’re whistling in the dark if they think anyone will partner with them!! So we’re back to the oil money.
Now, everyone with the least experience with oil has pushed the idea of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to receive the windfall funds and invest them wisely, then using the returns for development. But the Government will never go for this. Why? They won’t be able to get their sticky fingers on the money!!
…about the Case of the Vanishing Haitians and Cubans
Back in the day – after Columbus and his cohorts had “discovered” the West Indies — within half a century, the native Tainos and Kalingas (Arawaks and Caribs) had disappeared. And that, of course, is why most of us were brought in to fill the (labour) deficit. But it seems like history’s repeating itself in our dear old Guyana – in which the only significant population of “Indigenous Peoples” survived, but with a twist.
Here, it’s been discovered that since the Government took office, thousands of Cubans and Haitians have entered Guyana and suddenly DISAPPEARED!! What’s going on? No one seems to have an answer — especially the Minister of Immigration, who seems to disappear every time questions are asked on the subject! Is there a Black Hole somewhere in Guyana that’s drawing the folks into our country and sucking them into an alternate universe?
Or is it payback time for the original genocide?
Surely, it can’t be related to padding the electoral rolls?!
Your Eyewitness may’ve earned a reputation for being a cynic on governmental operations. But never let it be said he refused to give credit where – and when – credit’s due.
The just-opened up West Coast Highway is of First World standard!!