On page 24 of yesterday’s edition of Stabroek News appears a paid ad that reads ` Investors beware, GOINVEST elsewhere’.
I salute Stabroek News, Kaieteur News, and the rest of the Guyana media for the work they have been doing in protecting Guyana’s natural resources. Their direct and indirect exposes and analyses of the 2016 Esso/Hess/CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Agreement are courageous, patriotic and worthy of any national media. They have exposed the weaknesses of persons like Ministers Greenidge and Jordan and the dishonesty and doublespeak of Minister Raphael Trotman. The collective errors of judgement, honesty and integrity will cost Guyana dearly for decades to come if the Contract is not renegotiated.
Guyanese therefore have a right to be outraged, but under no circumstances do I support an advertisement that discourages investors to our country. The country needs foreign investors bringing capital, technology and expertise, and providing jobs, revenue and models of good governance practices.
Yes, there will be carpetbaggers, as they are everywhere. Our duty is to establish a system for identifying and weeding those out. In fact, specific to the petroleum sector, if Janet Jagan and to a considerably greater extent, Raphael Trotman had ensured that the requirements of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act and Regulations were applied, many of the concerns about the 2016 Agreement – important constituent parts of which are still being kept secret – would not even have arisen.
We therefore have legitimate reasons to believe that our Government has acted against the national interest. We must however respond in a measured and patriotic manner. The ad in my view has crossed a line.