Just over one week after Presidential Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Jan Mangal said Government can review and renegotiate the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil, President David Granger on Monday said Cabinet does not intend to do such at this time. He noted that the PSA is currently engaging the attention of Cabinet and a decision would be made.“The contract is an agreement between two parties and these things have to be portrayed carefully. There is no prospect at the said time that it is the intention of Cabinet to review it (the contract) but as I said, it is before Cabinet,” Granger said as he spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the swearing in ceremony of acting Justice of Appeal, Rafiq Turhan Khan.But Dr Mangal told reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas forum at the University of Guyana last Wednesday that when situations change and one party to a contract is dissatisfied with the contract it has with another, then amendments can be made. He was at the time referring to the oil contract between Guyana and ExxonMobil, criticising the low royalty, tax exemption and large concession given to the US oil company.Under the renegotiated agreement, Guyana receives two per cent royalty on earnings from ExxonMobil’s oil sales while the US oil giant would not be required to pay taxes on its share of the profits and according to the President’s Petroleum Adviser, that is low compared to global standards. He also raised concerns about the system used to negotiate that agreement and also the expertise of the persons doing the negotiating.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall called the President’s statement an abomination and a slap in the face of the Guyanese people. He noted that the PSA is the most important contract entered into by any Government since Independence and called for the immediate review of the agreement since there are several analysis of the agreement that supports that view.“It is pellucid to any sensible Government that this contract was a badly negotiated contract… any government that has the people’s interest at heart would want to ensure that Guyana’s interest and the people’s interest are paramount and if that contract does not make those interests paramount then a government would want to have that contract rectified,” Nandlall said in a invited comment.“This Government seems to be acting in the best interest of ExxonMobil and not Guyana and everything they have said and done thereafter is supportive of that posture. Therefore, the President’s latest disclosure confirms and corroborates that posture,” he added.He further stated that the contract is riddled with illegalities and contravenes certain sections of the law.Based on the 1999 agreement and the new 2017 deal, ExxonMobil is controlling the entire Stabroek Block of about 600 blocks or 10 times more than what Guyana’s laws allow. However, the oil and gas expert noted that allocating such a huge chunk is contrary to international best practice and creates unfair competition. Additionally, since the controversial statements were made, the Government has since indicated that Dr Mangal is not authorised to speak on behalf of the President and Cabinet.
President David Granger has urged the organisers and people of Linden to utilise the Linden Trade Fair and Exhibition as a platform and a basis for economic development.The three-day event, which forms part of the Linden Town Week’s (LTW’s) calendar of activities, was opened inside the compound of the Linden Technical Institute (LTI) on Friday. It is being held under the theme “Exploring opportunities, empowering businesses in a green 2018”. It is organised by the Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Development (LCICD), with support from the Linden Mayor and Town Council. The event, which wraps up on Sunday, features over 80 booths and exhibitors in the areas of agro processing, mining and forestry, manufacturing, furniture and handicraft, among other things.President David Granger at the opening of the Linden Trade Fair and ExhibitionIn delivering the feature address to mark the opening of the event, the Head of State noted that “new opportunities beckon” in the areas of manufacturing, food and agro processing, as well as jewelry and information and internet services.“I would like to see this exhibition as a platform for innovation and introducing these technologies. So this exhibition is important for me. It will stimulate economic development in this region…We must stop being a nation of samples and start looking for markets on a grand scale, on an industrial scale… I would like to ask you to pay attention to the words of the Chairman of the Chamber, and also to my own expectation that this exhibition would be a springboard for the economic revival of this town and this region,” President Granger noted.The President added that Linden, as a capital town, has a special responsibility not only to develop itself, but to develop the entire Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). He emphasised that the exhibition is also an opportunity to showcase the economy’s development.As such, he urged the Chamber to incorporate people from outlying areas such as Ituni and Kwakwani during the hosting of such exhibitions in an effort to “show off” their produce.“I am moved to tears when I see the efforts of housewives (and) young people, to put their best foot forward in this regional exhibition…So Linden and this exhibition must become a beacon for commerce…and also for manufacturing (and) industrialisation. And you must leverage your status as a capital town…as being central in the navel of Guyana…So this is a time, Linden, for uncrossing your arms.”He urged improved packaging, bottling and marketing, noting that the exhibition must seek to be innovative in setting high standards for the marketing of local produce.The President said the progress of the trade fair must be measured each year. He noted that it is not just a display of goods, but a manifestation of the spirit of Linden to overcome challenges and difficulties.He said it must also improve to include a wider range of goods to satisfy the need of every Lindener.The Head of State added that the Expo should be used as an opportunity to get out of the old mindset of just producing raw materials and to add value to these products to attract investment. “So let us bring these things together: investors, innovation, information technology and industrialization, and get Linden moving,” President Granger urged.
A 16-year-old girl is now a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital after she was attacked, beaten and robbed by two gunmen a short distance from her Garnett and Delph Streets, Georgetown home.The young woman was reportedly attacked about 18:00h on Thursday night as she was making her way home.Guyana Times understands that two men rode up on a motorcycle and attempted to relieve the teen of the bag she was wearing around her shoulder.After the young woman put up some resistance, she was dealt one blow to herface with a pistol one of the men was carrying. The young woman reportedly then fell to the roadway in an unconscious state.The duo then dragged the teenager a short distance from the scene before making good their escape. Further, relatives were outraged that the Police went to the scene after an hour, took the young woman who was still in an unconscious state to the hospital and left her there without making contact with them.It was only until the woman regained consciousness was her family contacted by doctors and told of what had transpired.The entire robbery was reportedly caught on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage; however, Police are also yet to review same.The family is fearful, since the perpetrators are roaming the streets freely and as such, they are calling on the relevant authorities to urgently look into the matter.