AFC ministers ‘unbribable’

-Gaskin says after recent Exxon-sponsored trip

A recent trip to the headquarters of ExxonMobil by five ministers of government was the second of its kind funded by the petroleum company. But Alliance for Change (AFC) government ministers are maintaining that they remain “unbribable,” even as travel and accommodation are paid for by the company

Speaking at an AFC press conference on Thursday, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson noted that Cabinet’s Oil and Gas sub-committee has been having regularly engagements with ExxonMobil about the company’s efforts and plans in Guyana. The sub-committee includes Patterson, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin and Minister of State Joseph Harmon, along with Presidential Advisor Jan Mangal. All the ministers except Harmon attended the recent trip along with Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge.

Dominic Gaskin

According to Patterson, the committee had visited Houston last year during the parliamentary recess, while a team from ExxonMobil has visited every three months to provide detailed updates on their operations.

He stressed that while some would believe that the ministers are influenced by having the company pay for their travel and accommodation this is not the case.

Minister Gaskin added that the AFC ministers are above being influenced.

“I speak for all of us here when I say we are not bribable,” Gaskin told reporters.

This confidence in their own integrity is one of the reasons the ministers cited for why they are not concerned about the secrecy surrounding the ExxonMobil contract.

Meanwhile, AFC Chairman, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, explained that the contract is secret as a result of both a non-disclosure clause and an amendment to the Petroleum Act. “This government is not one to have secret agreements but we are confined by the reality of the contract and legislation…. These things are not such that another administration can go wrecking because it will affect what Exxon can do,” Ramjattan explained.

Patterson also noted that government has been advised as part of a United Nations review process to keep the agreement secret.

He claimed that after the 2013 withdrawal of Anadarko, the contents of their contract was used against the country and stressed that if or when the contract with ExxonMobil is made public, many of those concerned would be disappointed.

“You essentially know all about this deal,” he said.


Rohit smashes third ODI double ton in India’s big win

MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Opener Rohit Sharma smashed his third one-day international double century to set up India’s comprehensive 141-run win against Sri Lanka in the second match of the series at Mohali today.

President says he took decision on placing US$18m bonus at BoG

President David Granger this morning said that he is responsible for the US$18M ExxonMobil signing bonus being put into an escrow account at the Bank of Guyana, a decision he believes was necessary at the time so that Guyana could be prepared for a National Security Emergency.

Brother in court for sibling’s murder

(Trinidad Guardian) Ramraj Samaroo yesterday appeared in the Couva Magistrates Court charged with the murder of his younger brother.

Auditor General probing gov’t failure to put Exxon signing bonus into Consolidated Fund

Auditor General Deodat Sharma has started investigating the failure by government to transfer the US$18 million signing bonus paid by ExxonMobil last year to the Consolidated Fund, in keeping with the Constitution.

Edghill arrested after bid to enter Parliament

Suspended PPP/C Member of Parliament (MP) Bishop Juan Edghill was yesterday arrested after an attempt to enter the compound of the Public Buildings, where the resumption of the consideration of the national budget estimates saw a brief opposition walkout over House Speaker Dr Barton Scotland’s decision to allow the approval without scrutiny of allocations slated to be examined at the previous day’s disrupted session.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now