“I don’t deal with leaks; plumbers deal with leaks” – Harmon on ExxonMobil signing bonus

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon Friday contended that he will not be responding to leaked documents which show that the government indeed received a signing bonus from US oil giant ExxonMobil.

“I don’t deal with leaks, plumbers deal with leaks,” Harmon told News Room when asked about the incident at Parliament Buildings on Friday morning.

The Stabroek News published in its 8th December 2017 edition a letter signed by the Finance Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga, requesting that a separate account be created to house the monies.  Finance Minister, Winston Jordan had told media operatives that he is unsure about the signing bonus.

“This account should not be treated as part of the Bank’s reserves. Instead, the proceeds should be held in the currency of the deposit, that is, United States dollars, and invested in secured interest-bearing securities,” Minister Jordan reportedly requested in the correspondence.

According to the leaked document, the letter was also copied to Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.

When earlier asked by News Room at the sidelines of an event at the Impeccable Banquet Hall this morning, Minister Harmon maintained that government will be addressing all matters of its relationship with ExxonMobil before the end of the year.

“What I said at the last press conference is that we are going to have a full exposition of all the issues in relation to the contract … the government will release the contract and all its terms and conditions before the end of December and that is our position,” Minister Harmon maintained.

Political commentator and chartered accountant, Christopher Ram was the first to reveal that he has knowledge of a US$20M signing bonus received by the government as part of the renegotiation of its contract with ExxonMobil.

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