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Guyana/Venezuela border controversy hampers full disclosure of Exxon’s contract- PM

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Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has singled out Guyana’s unresolved border row with neighbouring Venezuela as one of the government’s reasons against full disclosure of its contract with Exxon Mobil.

Speaking at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown, during an event hosted by the Ministry of Public Health, Nagamootoo maintained the government’s position that the contract “will be made available in due course”. He reiterated that it is not in national interest to do so now.

He was at the time responding to Transparency Institute Guyana Incorporated’s (TIGI) call for full disclosure.

“We have a situation right now with Venezuela and we have entered into the last six months of a very delicate process involving the United Nations (UN), and we have to, in this final six months, decide if there is no resolution that the matter should go to International Court of Justice,” he pointed out.

However, he said the oil and gas industry “as far as the government is concerned” is well founded on the basis of accountability and transparency.

PM Nagamootoo described it as a “delicate issue”.

TIGI released a statement on Wednesday (June 07, 2017), in which it noted that full disclosure would assure Guyanese living at home and abroad that negotiations with the oil major are in the best interest of the country and to eliminate concerns of corruption.

The Local transparency watchdog, pointed out that disclosure will lead Guyanese of the diaspora whose knowledge is vast in this area to make contributions to the process and thus protect the country’s interest.

Recently the Ministry of Natural Resources released details of the production sharing agreement between the Government and ExxonMobil. The Government and people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana will receive a royalty of two percent on gross earnings and benefit from 50 percent of the profits from the sale of petroleum once production commences.

(Modified from GINA- Government Information Agency)

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