PetroCaribe money …PM details trail of missing US$$

PetroCaribe money …PM details trail of missing US$$

PM, Moses Nagamootoo at Enmore Martyrs Memorial Ceremony

PM, Moses Nagamootoo

June 18, 2015 | By | The PetroCaribe fund is unable to pay rice farmers. US$141M from the fund was distributed to various Government agencies and projects under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration.

This revelation was shared by Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, at the 67th anniversary ceremony of the Enmore Martyrs in Enmore, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

PetroCaribe was an agreement struck between the governments of Guyana and Venezuela, where Guyana would receive concessionary prices for oil in exchange for rice. Monies received from the exchange deal would subsequently be transferred to the PetroCaribe fund, under the purview of the Ministry of Finance.

Some of the money was meant to be allocated to the payment of rice farmers and millers for rice produced to sustain the exchange.

Since coming to power A Partnership for National Unity plus Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), revealed that upon checking the contents of the fund there was no money. Minister of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, at his post Cabinet press briefing last week, revealed that this essentially meant that the PetroCaribe fund was bankrupt.

After this piece of revelation, the PPP/C charged that it was the new administration that was responsible for emptying the PetroCaribe fund, despite being in power for less than a month. The PPP/C refuted claims that it had anything to do with missing monies, since the fund was “managed optimally and transparently” by the former administration.

The Opposition party added that funds were spent on various Government developmental projects.

However, according to Prime Minister Nagamootoo, the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) received the bulk of the allocations— US$115M while the Ministry of Housing got US$10M. US$16M was pumped into the Hope Canal project.

“We had billions of dollars in what is called the PetroCaribe Fund and we were never told that the previous government transferred US$115M to the Guyana Power and Light from the rice fund,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo said that the previous administration had further transferred US$10M to the Housing Ministry, with Irfaan Ali as the Minister, to develop land which sugar and rice workers are unable to afford.

Another revelation by the First Vice President, was that US$16M was allocated to the construction of the $3.6B Hope Canal Project. This, according to him, was contrary to where the PPP/C administration said funding came from, that is the Treasury, during their tenure.
“All along we were told that money was coming from the Treasury to build the Hope Canal,” said Nagamootoo, as members of the Enmore attendees were audibly appalled at the news.

With the news of the bankrupt PetroCaribe fund, the Prime Minister said that his administration is working assiduously to find money to pay rice farmers for their crop.
Moving forward the Prime Minister told the gathering the rice industry is faced with many problems, just like the sugar industry, but that it can be fixed with the support of workers.
“We have realised that years of bad government must come to an end and we cannot do it alone. We need your support and cooperation,” said PM Nagamootoo.

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  • de castro  On 06/19/2015 at 1:20 am

    Am sure there are a lot more skeletons in cupboard.
    Rice for oil ….at what price ? Loss to rice farmers.😈

    Where is the evidence Mr Prime Minister ?
    Openess and transparency not to mention accountability.
    Political statements are meaningless unless there is evidence as proof…
    in print not words…thank you sir.😈

    Please some honest/openess reporting from the daily rabble.

    Thank you

  • Deen  On 06/19/2015 at 8:02 am

    Kamptan. After a complete investigation of the previous administration, I expect there will be more than skeleton in the closet, with all the suspected fiscal irregularities that probably took place, there may be a graveyard of egregious and fraudulent activities that occurred. What we have heard so far may most likely be the tip of the iceberg.
    I always wonder why a large country like Guyana of 83,000 square miles blessed with so many natural resources, gold, diamond, timber, bauxite, rice, sugar, etc. AND WITH LESS THAN A MILLION PEOPLE shoul always be in such poor state. Obviously, there were a lot of fraudulent activities and feathering of selfish nests.

  • de castro  On 06/19/2015 at 9:11 am

    Thousands like myself who wish to return to de fatherland will need lots of changes before deciding. Most of us retirees would much rather spend our pennies to benefit the poorer Guyanese economy once assured it is neither
    stolen or squandered……
    There are more Guyanese living outside than in Guyana today and most
    are pensioners born and bred in Guyana with much more disposable income
    earned while working abroad….
    Maybe that is an option the new administration should give serious consideration. In UK if one can afford it retirement homes are available
    but it does not come cheap. Am sure retirement homes outside GT
    will be a fraction of this. But not a “Jones town” please.
    Government owned rented to pensioners in and outside Guyana.
    Way forward…..income for government valuable foreign currency input.
    If the private sector wishes to invest in government project their profits
    will become taxable.
    Most of us living in northern hemisphere would enjoy 6 months a year in
    southern hemisphere even paying rent for the whole year.
    There are so many opportunities that seem to disappear into corrupt
    practices that it will be an uphill battle to correct. That would worry most of diaspora……let’s see…
    I certainly won’t wish to live in the city not now not ever.
    Security my concern .illegal/legal firearms …corrupt police force..
    among many others.
    In Kingston Jamaica I stayed with my sister in law in an upmarket gated
    community housing with 24 hour private security guarded entrance.
    In Dominican Republic again same….let’s see how things develop.

    Que sera

  • Deen  On 06/19/2015 at 11:50 am

    Potentially, that’s a great idea, Kamptan.
    Guyana, for the past four years has an average remittance of US$400 million from the U.S. Which has been estimated to be approximately 10% of Guyana’s GDP. I don’t know what’s the annual remittance amount is from the UK and Canada.
    Kamptan,as you indicated, Guyana stands to benefit greatly if retirees from US , UK, Canada etc decide to live seasonally or permanently in the homeland. It’ll create more jobs and revenue for the country Of, course, it’ll be mutually beneficial for retirees too since the cost of living is cheaper.
    The main concerns for all retirees are safety, security and medical services. If the new government address these concerns, certainly it’ll attract many foreign retirees, especially Guyanese abroad, to reside in Guyana.
    Also, Guyana, is a beautiful country that can attract many more visitors if they place more emphasis on tourism. This would contribute more to their revenue.
    The important precondition is for the Guyana government implement strategic policies and programs to combat crime, environmental pollution, sanitation and improvie medical and tourist services and facilities.

  • de castro  On 06/24/2015 at 12:22 am

    My friend told me that there is a “GATED” community on west coast of demerara
    which I will investigate on my next visit…
    Stayed on one in Kingston Jamaica and similar in San Francisco De Macori in Dominican Republic. Surrounded by CCTV and fenced with 24hour security.
    Although situated in the “crime” capital of these two countries neither were
    ever “burgulared” in compound……
    However who wishes to live in a prison…….certainly not “old farts” like me 😀
    Would much prefer to return to live with the “uncivilised” in their jungle.
    Amazonia with all its “wild” dangers. Prefer to be eaten by wild animal than be robbed by a “domesticated” one.😀

    Que sera

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