OPINION: Christmas cheer, banana republic, Payara and more – The GHK Lall Column

>>> Encouraging events, disturbing developments <<<

Kaieteur News –  Chickens are coming for Christmas. This announcement encourages celebrating Christmas starting now. The year has been such that chicken tidings bring joy. This means availability; a manageable price; and an overdue bite for Guyanese. We have had little to sing about this year, and if it takes Christmas chickens to encourage dancing a jig, let it be.

I am encouraged that Managing Director of Cardiology Services, Inc., Dr. Mahendra Carpen, returned prime lands in Ogle to NICIL. This land award does not pass smell test or eye test. Since no finances were committed, the land was, in essence, dumped in the lap of Cardiology Services Inc. Sure, the group wanted that land, just not in this questionable manner. It is good to see Guyanese doing the right thing, even when it costs.           

`Next, a former advisor disturbed: Guyana could soon be a ‘banana republic.’ I believe that living in a banana republic makes monkeys of everyone, where the nation is peeled and swallowed in bite-sized chunks. This is exactly what happened with our gold and timber before, and now the mother lode, oil. A banana has three colourations: green (when nurtured for the kill); yellow (when chewed to pieces); and soggy brown (when mashed and no good). Banana republics are like the fruit.

Today, Guyana is green and ripe for exploiting, soon it will be yellow and ready for consuming (fetched away), and before long, it will be the brown barrenness of a tombstone abandoned, because it no longer has richness for love to be lavished upon it. It disturbs, because this has been the way of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama, to which I add Nigeria and Venezuela. Guyana can be top banana once its oil is honestly managed. Or it can be another banana republic: used, abused, and misused, at which time, having been drained of vitality and prosperity, it is abandoned without second thoughts by the foreign companies that rushed to exploit its richness.

Also disturbing are the dogged practices of the PPP government; like Nat King Cole, it is always looking back at coalition failures. Though there are terrible (disturbing) things to place daily before the public, the government positions itself to serve this hurting society better by focusing on the future. Instead of dredging up the past for PR and retaliatory purposes, I exhort leader and team to share the nuts and bolts of what it is about, how it plans to go about the many matters demanding complete concentration, when it calculates delivering, and how such will be measured. These are the ties that bind (from Nat Cole to Brook Benton), that help Guyanese to rise. Looking back endlessly saps energy, divides further. I urge leaving politics behind and starting to govern.

Then, I learn about the arrival of foreign investigators to probe the Cotton Tree tragedies, which encourages and disturbs. What will they find? Is there anything left to find? And, if they do, do we sincerely want to know? I say this since such could lead us into the disturbing alleyways of Guyana’s political and criminal soul. Too often, those two are inseparable, which disturbs terribly.

Last, there was the utterly disturbing over Payara licensing. It had to be September 30th because Exxon wanted it so. It disturbs that Guyanese leaders kowtowed, did not stand firm with timelines, priorities, and oil benefits that could have been wrenched from Exxon but were not. Flaring penalties were not quantified; US$400,000 for Payara audit cost sounds plenty, but it is only a negligible GY$80M; the all-season Local Content flag was unfurled with much unsaid; and the Unit Development Agreement is a good sales pitch but a no-brainer. President Ali made speeches about Payara, with these delivered, he failed.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)

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  • kamtanblog  On 10/05/2020 at 3:34 am

    Who owns exonmobil ?

    Is it Potus or Putin or both ?

    Google for some answers !

    It’s not rocket science
    Willful ignorance is inexcusable today.

  • Dennis Albert  On 10/05/2020 at 8:26 pm

    If President Ali installs American propaganda on the airwaves, you know who is in control.

  • Jo  On 10/06/2020 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you Mr. Lall for your article. It’s disheartening to see time wasted on looking back and wallowing in whatever dirt can be slung at the previous administration. I hope the President will rise higher than this and give true leadership each day along with the PM who should be working with Ministers on the detailed plans of each Ministry. The last Government improved Guyana’s score in quite a few areas assessed by international bodies. Let’s see how this Government could do even better. As for the agreement with Exxon Mobil..didn’t I hear how easy it was to get a better deal? Just dust in the eye of the supporters..it’s business as usual. I hope we don’t see a repeat of the level of corruption that prevailed under Jagdeo..the Pradaville days.

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