Let me be very clear: Minister Raphael Trotman and Minister Winston Jordan are creatures of President David Granger. They cannot collect $3,780,000,000 ($3.7 billion is the equivalent of US$18 million) from a private sector investor that has a track record that is not perfect with respect to relations with third world governments. It is unacceptable that Team Granger and Exxon tried for a year to not declare these funds. But what is worse is that Article 216 of the Guyana Constitution was trampled upon by none other than the President; after all these funds belong to the people of Guyana. He does not have a legal transport over them, so why is he operating in such a manner? This is not his private business, this is public business and must be declared. So while I want to blame Mr Trotman, he cannot be exclusively blamed for this one since the buck stops with President David Granger.
That is why I am committed to the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund that will be independently managed by a professional team, not political hacks. It is time for the independent thinkers to raise their voices to save Guyana. Where are the voices of the Bishops of Guyana (the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church), the Guyana Pandits Council, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana and so on. Where are the voices of civil society groups such as the Private Sector Commission, the Guyana Human Rights Association, the Guyana Bar Association and the Guyana Women Lawyers Association?
But as a certified chartered accountant, I am extremely disappointed with the silence of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana on this point of public accountability. The sensible strategy now for all right thinking and rational Guyanese would be to expose, oppose and finally depose. Borrowing from Ricky Singh’s narrative, “It is time to light a candle…” for the Guyanese people once again.