‘The entire gov’t should resign now’- Jagdeo on oil bonus

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called for the entire government to resign over revelations that a special account has been set up to funnel a signing bonus from ExxonMobil.

Minister Raphael Trotman today admitted the government had received a “larger payment” from Exxon, but he did not call it a signing bonus and neither did he deny the contents of the letter published in the press today.

“The entire government should resign now,” Jagdeo declared in the National Assembly during the 2018 Budget Debate.

He said that the fact that a special account was set up is a breach of the country’s financial laws. According to the Opposition Leader, the funds should have gone into the account of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission or the Consolidated Fund.

Further, Jagdeo contended that the funds should have been reflected in the budget; but that was not done. As such, he suggested that the budget was understated by some $4 billion and on that ground, the entire estimates should be withdrawn.

Jagdeo said the fact that the bonus was paid into a special account it shows that the people will “never” benefit from oil revenues, but just a “special few.”

Jagdeo accused government Ministers of misleading the nation in the reasons it gave to keep the oil contract secret.

He said there was no legal impediment, no political impediment nor any national sovereignty implication for the refusal to disclose the contract.

Jagdeo claimed that only thing that has prevented the coalition government’s refusal to release the contract earlier was its proclivity to secrecy and lack of transparency.  The government has pledged to release “everything” by the end of the year.

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