EYEWITNESS: Doom and gloom…



As the Irfan Ali PPP administration rolls out its development plan – as adumbrated in its Manifesto – your Eyewitness notes a troubling development. The moment an initiative is announced, naysayers ooze out of the woodwork to predict apocalyptic consequences and insist that the project be abandoned. These are the same people, however, who’d flagellate the PPP for “not doing anything” to develop the country.

For instance, there’s one local “international” lawyer – who not so incidentally has advocated we leave the oil discovered offshore right where it is! She’s concerned about the deleterious impact of fossil fuel extraction and uses on climate change!! So while the rest of the world has abandoned their promises to cap Carbon emissions, like Atlas, Guyana should bear that burden – for “mankind’s common good”! So, what if the oil revenues could help us from falling below Haiti and the development index!? So, the PPP government’s criticized for allowing development of the oil fields!

Anyhow, she recently participated in a discussion of the Government’s decision to bring the natural gas – associated with the oil – ashore to be used for downstream industries like generating electricity, bottling cooking gas, and possibly producing Ammonium (nitrogen) fertilizers for our agricultural needs. Not surprisingly, one of the other “experts” immediately recommended abandoning the project! Not for the possible environmental impact which the “international lawyer” again raised, but that “the way the contracts were negotiated for this oil endeavour (gave) no confidence that the country has any ability to negotiate the best price for a pipeline and other infrastructure to bring gas to shore”! The decision by the PPP government “was a recipe for bankruptcy”!

Imagine that! Never mind that that oil contract was negotiated by another government (the APNU/AFC) and had been comprehensively critiqued as to its loopholes. The premise is that all of us natives – doesn’t matter what party or government – are incapable of learning from mistakes!! Hot on the heel of this advise to abandon the gas-to-shore project, came another naysayer – but this time from an expert who didn’t have the cojones to put his name to his letter.

Now there’s nothing wrong – and everything right – about citizens critiquing governmental actions. After all governments are spending citizens’ money. But there should be some logic to the critique or criticism. The main objection by this invertebrate was that the PPP had invested heavily in the Skeldon Sugar Factory, which didn’t fulfill its promise – and THEREFORE the same thing will happen to the GTS project!! And also, the pipeline to Wales “would disrupt ships and fishing”!

So, what’s the message from these naysayers? Guyana should revert to a presumably non-intrusive cave-man lifestyle!

Trouble is, we don’t have caves!

contract workers’ fate

The PNC has made heavy going on some contract workers who’ve been terminated from some Ministries. Now while Public Servants have security of tenure, generally contract workers aren’t public servants! The latter’s appointments and dismissals are under the purvey of the Public Service Commission…and as far back as 2017, had advised the PNC government to either transition the contract workers into the Public Service or cut back on the numbers.

To no avail. It was just revealed by the Auditor General’s Report that once again the Ministry of the Presidency was the greatest violator of the practice. From 307 in 2017 they ballooned to 471 in 2019 that absorbed 75% of the $1.375BILLION paid to contract workers in the 934 entire government!! Now we know about these multi-million-dollar-per-month high flyers, don’t we? Think Clive Thomas and his deputy in SOCU, for instance!!

Even the cleaners in the MotP received more than a doctor starting out at GOHC after five years of study!!

and bling

Why doesn’t it surprise your Eyewitness that Public Servants using government accommodations didn’t pay their token rental during the PNC years? The entire government was a vehicle for servicing their perceived supporters.

Which explains that $900,000 bracelet “gift”!