…why should City Hall worry?
Seems like one City Councillor woke up from the slumber into which most of his cohorts seem to have fallen. Given a bald statement after numerous requests — that the City has liabilities of some $3 billion as at last December, when it inherited a POSITIVE balance of $180! — he wanted to know how in God’s name (read “in King’s name”!) could the City be spending $6 million over revenues collected DAILY!!
Easy!! It’s just like when some hottie has a sugar daddy to pick up the tab after every shopping spree!! No worries about spending!! In this case, the Central Government’s the sugar daddy and the Mayor and Town Clerk are the hotties!! As we all know, such relationships are quite simple and straightforward – even though the morality (or lack thereof) is another matter entirely.
The hottie provides required services for the sugar daddy without even being demanded – the unwritten contract at the beginning of the relationship is observed even more faithfully than Trotman with his oil contract! In the case of City Hall, the services to Central Government are the Mayor, Town Clerk and Councillors pushing the PNC’s message in their wards!! That’s it!! And once these folks can dole out patronage for the party, the money spigot will be kept open!
How much have they received up to now? Well, there was that $475 million to pay off the garbage companies last year; then there was the $25 million to complete the Kitty Market (sorry…no AC!) and make the bailout a cool half-a-billion!! And we won’t mention the billions spent directly to spruce up the City for the Jubilee bashes beyond the $300 million budgeted!! We know the wood ants’ stadium alone set the Government back some $1.5 billion!!
Now the Minister of Communities – Ronald Bulkan — who’s supposed to be in charge of liaising with municipalities, obviously doesn’t understand the sugar daddy relationship and its protocols. He had the temerity to inform the Mayor that the Town Clerk (who reports to him) can’t just take over a public playground and have a contractor prepare it as house lots for the Gang of Four and their inside Councillors!!
Boy, was he bitch-slapped by the mayor for “meddling”!! The Minister was suffering from the misapprehension that there ought to be a quid pro quo from the City for all the bailouts!! Poor slob…he doesn’t get it that the services to be rendered are of a completely different colour!!
So expect him to be embarrassed once again, when he has to eat his words that City Hall can’t expect bailouts all the time.
It ain’t bailouts, Bulkan…it’s sugar daddy’s payments!!
…why worry about oil?
Some folks still don’t get it when it comes to oil and the Third World (or, as President Trump put it more elegantly, “Shithole Countries”!!) There’s also some racism operating here when these folks seem to think it’s only in Africa that oil revenues don’t reach the people!! They seem to think Africa is some sort of jungle, and the rulers are satisfied to receive mirrors and beads for the oil.
If you look at the contracts those African countries negotiated with the foreign oil companies, you will discover that, IN EVERY INSTANCE, their contract terms are better for them that Guyana’s – which was “renegotiated” by Raphael “Nassau” Trotman. Exploration fees…rental fees…bigger signing bonuses…bigger royalties…bigger share of profits…bigger taxation of oil companies’ profits (which is easy, since WE pay the oil company taxes!!) etc…etc…
In Africa, however, the money goes into the rulers’ pockets…and this is where we seem to have much in common. But the oil companies wised up…
After considering Guyana’s rulers’ cut, they made up with the terms, we see!!
The cry in the US west during their “gold rush” was: “there’s gold in them thar hillS!!! With Goldfields’ decision to go underground for gold here, ours could be:
“There’s gold UNDER them thar holes!!”