Jagdeo demands Gov’t come clean on ExxonMobil signing bonus

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo claims he has knowledge of the US$20M signing bonus ExxonMobil reportedly gave the government but he is leaving the door open for the coalition administration to either confirm or deny the allegations.

Political analyst, Christopher Ram first disclosed that he was reliably informed that the government received a US$20M signing bonus from ExxonMobil – a claim which the administration has not dispelled.

A signing bonus is a payment made by a contractor on the signing of an agreement as an incentive.  When asked about this on several occasions, government ministers including Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan claimed not to know about the money.

But Jagdeo told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he has also received information which substantiates the claim of the signing bonus.

“If this turns out to be true then I believe that the entire government should resign because this is if you cannot be transparent about receipts from a company or from any company in Guyana, particularly a company in the extractive sector… ,” he stated.

Jagdeo also questioned where the money is if it is not in the consolidated fund and why Minister Jordan does not know about it.

“If this turns out to be true and the government received the money and Winston Jordan did not know about this then where did the money go? And if he does know about it and he lied to the country saying he did not know about it, then that is just as bad,” he posited.

The Opposition Leader said it would be a matter of grave concern if it turns out that government did receive money from ExxonMobil and did not tell the nation. In fact, he plans on asking ExxonMobil about the matter when they meet again.

Meanwhile, the political analyst who first highlighted the issue explained that his source indicated that the government used the excuse of a new licence to extract a signing bonus.

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