Hopefully, we will be having General and Regional Elections in a little over two months, but during this time, we will be bombarded once again with parties indulging in skilful marketing of their manifestos and in some cases the selling of not only illusive dreams but also manipulating the masses through outright lies and deceptions. Immediately the APNU/AFC Coalition comes to mind!
We have witnessed that during the last 2015 Elections the APNU/AFC Coalition made numerous promises and bold statements of what it can achieve within 100 days of assuming office. In addition, they campaigned heavily on the ‘massive corruption’ of the PPP/C government and made promises to jail the ‘corruptors’. One year after the Coalition was unable to even fulfil its ‘100 days promise’and are yet to do so to date and those that it has fulfilled were far below expectations. For instance, the reduction in Bridge Toll was supposed to be by 50%. This was what Prime Minister Nagamootoo told the Coalition supporters at Whim, but he probably had meant that the Coalition boys will be given 50% increase in salaries. In addition, they had promised ‘significant’ increases in wage and salaries to ‘government workers, including nurses, teachers from primary to tertiary education, security personnel and civil servants on the traditional payroll’ but this also did not materialize ‘significantly’. Sugar workers were never promised a ‘wage freeze’ but a 20% increase and the sugar industry was promised a ‘turnaround’ after the 52 million dollars Commission of Inquiry with no closure! We know what they did to sugar and the sugar workers!
Moreover, the old age pensioners have been deprived of their subsidies on water and electricity and are yet to receive any ‘significant’ increases. On the other hand, the Coalition had promised to reduce the presidents’ pension and other benefits. The Coalition had said that the lifestyle of the former President Bharrat Jagdeo placed an onerous burden on the Treasury. However, that has been relegated to a non-issue status since it is now common knowledge that even the rubberstamp PM is getting far more than Jagdeo. This just goes to show the cunningly deceitfulness of this Coalition. They are now the fattest cats around!
Then the Coalition had lustily sung about the corrupt nature of the PPP/C Government in high crescendo which reverberated even internationally. But again this was simply massive lies and propaganda just to deceive the people. In terms of corruption, the investigative Dobermans of the Coalition, SARU and SOCU have failed to prove by way of conviction in the Courts that the PPP/C was guilty of any form of corruption during their 23 years in Office. In fact, these two PNC controlled arms carried out a massive witch hunting exercise to smear and tarnish the characters of former PPP/C government officials. Ironically the PNC appointed head of SOCU himself became the centre of allegations of fraud and corruption and was sent on ‘leave’ indefinitely! Again this nation has seen the massive increase in cronyism pervading every strata of government which resulted in the successful passing of the NCM more than a year ago. They have squandered more than $1.3 trillion with nothing tangible to show for except some arches, roundabouts, inaugurations and pomp and ceremony! In fact the social and economic gains made under the previous PPP/C Government have been severely eroded.
The squandering of our oil patrimony from the signing of the Oil production sharing agreement have presented to this nation an unassailable argument that the APNU/AFC are not only incompetent to govern an oil producing nation but no tangible benefit will ever trickle down to the common man! The failings in this regard are too numerous to mention. It makes us wonder if the $15 billion per year projected GDP growth will actually transform the Guyanese economy when $1.3 trillion have so far failed.
The Coalition failed to negotiate a substantial signing bonus and settled for a paltry US$18 million. It is anyone’s guess why the PSA omitted any ‘ring-fencing’ provision thereby negatively affecting oil revenues, accepted a meagre 2% royalty, agreed to pay Exxon’s income taxes, agreed to self-insurance and not a comprehensive one called for by the World Bank, an opaque local content policy which does not augur well for Guyanese and the list goes. Even negotiator Mr Trotman has now accepted that his Government could have done better with the Exxon deal. Is this an apology for the re-election of the Coalition? But lo and behold the ‘raw deal’ continues even after Trotman’s apology. On December 20th Oil producing country and the entire country should have been exceedingly happy but even the sale of the first three oil lifts is highly questionable since it not only breaches our Procurement Laws but the purchasing Company’s public image and dealing is questionable. It seems that from stern to bow we have been royally screwed!
In conclusion, to put the icing on the cake Guyana is now categorized as the country with the highest bribery in the Caribbean. It is unbelievable that after just over 4 years in Government our country has descended to a bottomless cesspit of bribery and corruption.