Government should approach the oil and gas sector in Guyana in a manner that is completely devoid of partisan politics, so that sound policies and plans could be put in place for future generations to benefit from this industry and resource.This is the view firmly expressed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who said Government needs to approach this issue in a manner that ensures active stakeholder participation and input.While the Opposition has stated its willingness to participate in those discussions, Jagdeo said that does not mean the Opposition is ‘begging for a place at the table’.“We are not (begging for a place at the table), but there are some best practices in this area, particularly in the oil and gas sector; and the several models we have looked at showed that the ones that yield the best results in managing oil and gas resources for the good of the country are the models that emphasize apolitical approach,” he explained.Jagdeo declared that not only should political parties be included in discussions on the future of the oil and gas industry, but members of civil society and interest groups should equally be involved.The former President said having local groups and institutions involved in the decision-making process for this sector would be good for Guyana.He said, “It would allow people — the whole of the country — to buy into this model. And it would not require us to change anything if or when the Government changes.”The Opposition has already expressed its willingness to participate in discussions regarding the planning of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and the setting up of a body such as a Petroleum Commission, which would help to guide sound management of the impending oil and gas sector in Guyana.Maintaining that institutions set up to manage the oil and gas sector must be free of politics, Jagdeo said he knows of examples where countries rich in oil resources and exporting millions of barrels of oil earn miniscule finances because they have treated the sector in a political fashion.“If it is treated in an apolitical manner, then our country will make long-term progress. We will be able to really translate the barrels (exported) and revenue earned to real development for our people. But it has to be treated in that manner if we are to see some progress,” he maintained.The Opposition feels the Government is dragging its feet on the issue, and needs to start making moves to prepare now for first oil in 2020. Jagdeo said the issue is not about rushing the process, but about taking all the necessary steps to prepare for an industry that could bring enormous benefits to Guyana.Government, through acting Prime Minister Carl Greenidge, recently admitted that the recent high-level caucus for Cabinet Ministers to engage global thinkers and experts on natural resource management as part of the agenda to prepare for petroleum production in 2020 was in fact mundane, or low-key.Greenidge said the caucus was not aimed at learning something new, but at exchanging experiences with those who have been teaching or working on petroleum issues across the globe.The event was seen by Opposition parties as a political stunt put on by Government to show Guyanese that something is seriously being done.Government is yet to produce a model for the Sovereign Wealth Fund and one for the setting up of a Petroleum Commission.While plans are moving apace for a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, other important aspects that will help to guide the sector in future years are either in draft stages or are nowhere close to being completed.
One bandit was on Friday shot dead while another was injured after they attempted to rob the Zhon Chang Chinese Restaurant at Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo (EBE).The identities of the two bandits were not immediately available but Guyana Times understands that after being shot, they were taken to the Leonora Hospital where one of them was pronounced dead on arrival.Based on information received, the two bandits, who were armed with handguns, stormed the Chinese restaurant but the owner of the building, who resides in the upper flat, realised what was happening and opened fire on the two masked gunmen.Guyana Times understands that the Chinese nationals have been renting the lower flat of the building for quite some time. When contacted, Divisional Commander Simon Mc Bean confirmed that two men were shot during the commissioning of a robbery and were taken to the hospital and could not provide further information at the time.Investigations are ongoing.
A PRELIMINARY inquiry into planning decisions at Donegal County Council is expected to recommend a full investigation, donegaldaily.com has learned.The current internal inquiry, run by the Department of Environment, was initiated by this Government instead of an external audit which was recommended by the last administration under the Green Party and Fianna Fail.A report on the inquiry into Donegal County Councils and six other local authorities will be given to the Government next month. There is an ongoing row between government and opposition parties over how the inquiry has stalled.Former Green Party leader John Gormley has been furious at claims from the Government that despite launching investigations in June 2010, he had done nothing about it before the last government collapsed.We understand that early indications about the Donegal County Council inquiry is pointing to “the need for further investigations.”One source told us: “There are several issues arising from the Donegal inquiry which will probably require further investigation by an outside agency.” Last month Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dail that ex-minister for the environment John Gormley had established an independent review into the planning practices in those local authorities and a year since taking the position, Phil Hogan had not taken the probe further.“Why is there still no outcome to his internal reviews nine months after he suppressed the independent reviews the former minister, Mr Gormley, established?” Mr Martin asked at the time.Mr Martin said that Mr Hogan had been given “an extensive dossier” prepared by planning officials in the department following an internal review of complaints made from 2007 to 2009.He added that the Minister also had a series of reports from the managers in each of the local authorities. The terms of reference for a panel of planning consultants were also available, said Mr Martin.However Mr Gilmore said that seven months after Mr Gormley ordered the investigation, nothing had happened. Mr Hogan had asked for an internal review to take place.He had instructed officials to conduct an internal review and to report to him on what further actions might be warranted.Mr Martin said he had spoken to Mr Gormley.“The bottom line is there was resistance to these inquiries within the system,” he claimed. He said Mr Gilmore should meet Mr Gormley and look at the dossier on the issue.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailyPLANNING PROBE AT DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL ‘WILL LEAD TO INQUIRY’ was last modified: April 4th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:PLANNING PROBE AT DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL ‘WILL LEAD TO INQUIRY’