I PEN this letter to you today in regard to something I saw plastered on the front page of the Sunday, October 24 edition of the Kaieteur Newspaper which I find quite laughable. As I am sure many persons are aware, Kaieteur News would usually carry pictures in its publications of persons holding placards as part of their activism in support of their call for renegotiation of the controversial ExxonMobil oil contract signed by the APNU+AFC. In the Sunday edition highlighted above the “protestor” was none other than Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, who wore a jersey with writing that called for 50 per cent royalty to be paid to Guyana. Editor, I found this to be hilarious and quite embarrassing for the Opposition Leader; hence, my decision to write to you today.
It is paramount that everyone is reminded that it was the APNU+AFC Coalition that negotiated and signed the very two per cent royalty agreement which Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, is now “protesting” against. In fact, a simple Google search will provide evidence of this. As a matter of fact, I reference an article published in June 2017 by iNews Guyana headlined “Exxon Mobil will pay two per cent royalty in new pact with gov’t”. This article provided a very detailed synopsis of the royalty agreement which the APNU+AFC Coalition signed with Exxon. With this in mind, I find it strange that the Opposition Leader would join the “protest” for 50 per cent royalty when it was his government that agreed for Guyana to receive two per cent in the first place. It is either that the picture used on Kaieteur News’ front page of the Opposition Leader was photoshopped or it’s a case of the usual dishonesty from the APNU+AFC.
At the same time, I found this whole thing to be even more comical when I flipped through the pages of the very edition of the Kaieteur Newspaper to find an article highlighting the APNU+AFC Coalition’s incompetent handling of the oil and gas sector. In fact, the article revealed that Suriname was able to secure a US$30.8M signing bonus for a block measuring approximately 2,235km2. However, in the case of Guyana, the APNU+AFC Coalition agreed to collect US$18M for an area that is 12 times the size of the Suriname block.
Editor, the fact that the Opposition Leader is parading around saying that Guyana should demand 50 per cent royalty when his government settled for two per cent is evidence of how inept they are. I trust that all your readers would see the same.