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Nation starving as Govt. refuses to audit Exxon bills – KNews Publisher – Kaieteur News

Newspaper Publisher and Radio Host, Mr. Glenn Lall during his Friday programme
Newspaper Publisher and Radio Host, Mr. Glenn Lall during his Friday programme

Kaieteuer News

Energiesnet.com 03 14 2023

Newspaper Publisher and Radio Host, Mr. Glenn Lall during his most recent programme aired on Kaieteur Radio, Friday evening, said Government’s refusal to conduct timely audits of the bills handed to the country by oil giant ExxonMobil has rendered the nation starving as half of the US$30 billion expenditure could be inflated.

Lall was moved to tears during the broadcast as he told listeners of The Glenn Lall Show that Liza One, Liza Two, Payara and Yellowtail, the four sanctioned projects in the Stabroek Block totals US$30 billion. He said, “I believe half of that which is US$15 billion, does not belong to Guyana’s oil projects.”

The businessman pointed out that US$15B equates to five years of the country’s national budget and could have been more than enough to pave a highway from Guyana to China and the United States. He also highlighted that Guyana currently has a public debt of just over US$3 billion yet Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, the lead player in the oil and gas sector, is refusing to bail the country out of this position.

This is particularly so as the VP has not been prioritizing the audits, though he said prior that he was disappointed in the government’s inability to find competent auditors.

Back in 2021, Jagdeo told reporters at a press conference, “We have been very disappointed that we have not been able to select a group to do the audit of the post 2017 expenditure by Exxon. The reason is we did not have a strong local content, so we had two local groups that came in but they were not strong enough.”

He continued that, “We want to build the capacity in Guyana to do this audit. We think our people have enormous forensic skills and auditing skills and we are looking to see if we can’t have an arrangement where we have a consortium of local people come together to do part of this work partnering with a foreign company so we can build capacity right here in Guyana.”

Jagdeo also noted that he had asked one of the Ministers to assemble the auditing teams in Guyana who are interested, to partner with a foreign company, to conduct the reviews on behalf of the country.

Meanwhile, at the sidelines of his press conference hosted on March 3, this newspaper asked the VP when the audits of Payara and Yellowtail will be conducted to which he responded, “Which Payara and Yellowtail? From 2020? I don’t know. Ask Vick. You can put that and say I don’t know.”

Already, the two-year timeline in which the government must conduct the audit of the Payara development has expired, meanwhile the allotted time for the Yellowtail project is closing in.

To this end, Lall said, “Uncle, don’t believe or think what is happening is stupidity. No it’s not, it’s schemes, international conning going on in this land with y’all future. Dem only running around monkeying themselves about sugar, rice and fish pond, the money, billions Jagdeo has allowed and keep on allowing to be siphoned out from your oil could have already been giving every household, not farmer, cane cutter and fishermen alone, every household in Guyana, down to the shacks some of our brother and sisters living in could have been collecting no less than $2 million a month not $1 million.”

Lall argued that the projects have doubled up on cost, as the administration has failed to scrutinize the bills it received on the first two projects.

“ExxonMobil see you nah check Liza 1 and 2 and double the third one (Payara). The man see you nah check the third one either, wha you think he do with the fourth one? Dah one move from 9 to 12 and a half billion USD. ExxonMobil don’t want to look too greedy, so dem ain’t double the fourth one, dem only increase by a third,” the businessman reasoned.

In this regard, Lall argued that rather than answer straightforward questions, Jagdeo has been ducking and dodging the issues and referring them to officials such as Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat and Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kemraj Parsram among others.

The newspaper Publisher said, “If what is happening in this country at present doesn’t come to a full stop now, Guyana is doomed…you wouldn’t be able to bear the suffering that’s in the pipeline.”

He said he is still in shock from the response Jagdeo gave on the audits of Payara and Yellowtail, since the money saved during this process could wipe poverty from Guyana.

“Aunty, the most hurtful pain any parent can bear or feel is when they can’t afford to feed their children a proper meal or have to send them to bed hungry.   What is even more painful uncle, is to know that we were blessed with an abundance of rich food and have to watch foreigners snatching it away with the help of Bharat Jagdeo and others, while half of this population starving, going to bed hungry…uncle, you and the family pinching here and pinching there to eat and make ends meet when the week comes…some of yuh even have to beg families and friends fuh help out whenever yuh can’t rally out the week. But, suddenly God Almighty smile on us and say no man, ayuh can’t live like this anymore, a sorry for ayuh, I gon help ayuh out, he mek we find oil in abundance, oil that can put ayuh in a really good place, oil money that can make the world bow down at every Guyanese feet and we must make the best use out of it,” he said.

kaieteurnewsonline.com 03 12 2023

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