The public is once again left in the dark regarding the governance of the country’s natural resources as another back and forth ensues between government and the former administration.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson had claimed during an Alliance For Change press conference last week that all the blocs were given out under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration.
Counterclaims advanced by the PPP General Secretary and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo however, indicates that Patterson was misleading.
“Imagine that these people went to a press conference and said Jagdeo can’t be trusted. He is a liar. Then they proceed to lie to the nation that there are no more blocks available when their own government statistics show that there are several blocks available,” Jagdeo had said.
He further argued that, “it is a lie by Patterson. It is incompetence and it is sinister; because now that he says that there is nothing available Jagdeo gave it all out it means that they can secretly give out all the substantial blocks because (as far as the nation knows) there is nothing left.”
Jagdeo demanded Patterson be sacked for misleading the nation.
Asked for clarify on the matter on Thursday, State Minister, Joseph Harmon during a post cabinet press briefing defended Patterson.
“When Minister Patterson speaks as a minister of the government, he speaks on behalf of the coalition government and I am quite sure Minister Patterson is quite aware of the statements he made with respect to the offshore concessions,” Harmon stated.
The State Minister said Patterson is technically competent and careful enough to explain the situation again, if necessary.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo had produced a map from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) dated February which showed that there are several blocks still available.
According to Jagdeo, only 10 licences were issued under the former government, none of which were issued under his tenure. Among those given licences are Mid Atlantic, Tullow, Eco Atlantic, CGX, Repsol, Ratio, Anadarko, Exxon. See full map here: PetroleumConcessionMap