The announcement by Minister Trotman that the Amaila Falls Hydro Project is still on the table is most welcome. On the other hand it is another demonstration of the true nature of the persons administering our country. It tells us of the quality of leadership that the APNU+AFC has so far provided and the example it is setting, particularly for the youths who are more impressionable.
The APNU and AFC leaders were given all the studies on the viability of the Amaila Falls project while in opposition. The benefits that our people could enjoy among other information.
Twice, presentations were held at the Office of the President for the two parties to give them all the information on the project. They were also told that the PPP/C administration was prepared to answer any and all questions they may have after they consulted with their experts.
They asked for a visit to the falls and that was provided for them. All of that was to ensure that they had full information of the project. It was hoped that having that information they would have, in the interest of our people and country, supported it in the National Assembly.
Lo and behold they refused to support the project and forced the investor, Sithe Global, to walk away from it.
Had they supported it, by now we would have been getting power from Amaila Falls and consumers would have been paying between 20% to 40% less for electricity. Our nation lost years because of such selfishness.
Now they are in government they are saying that they may pursue it. They seemed to have had a change of heart.
I recall also that the PPP/C government had to give the investor a guarantee that should Guyana Power and Light not take the power when available from Amaila, the Government would pay. To provide that guarantee, a bill had to be passed in Parliament to raise the debt ceiling.
It should be noted that not a single cent of debt was being incurred, it was only needed to give the necessary guarantee. They refused to support the bill.
The PPP/C then proposed that the rise in the ceiling would apply to the Amaila Falls Project alone. It was not to be a carte blanche to borrow generally.
Now their attitude is different.
At the last sitting of the National Assembly the two parties sneaked into a bill, the provision to raise the debt ceiling by billions of dollars. It is not restricted to any project. The same people now have given themselves the authority to add huge burdens on the taxpayers of Guyana for anything they wish for. This is taking us back to the times when per capita we had the biggest debt in the world.