While the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) continues its investigation into the distribution of oil blocks offshore Guyana, former Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud is lifting his hands, saying they are clean.
Persaud’s tenure covered the period when the Kaieteur and Canje blocks were distributed to inexperienced firms without the wherewithal to conduct exploration.
Suspicions, as expressed in sections of the media, are that Persaud is guilty of improper actions pertaining to the manner in which the two blocks were distributed. He is seeking to quell such suspicions.
Below is a full statement released by Persaud today via social media.
I have not been contacted by SARA or any other entity regarding the issue of ‘oil blocks.’ I do support any independent, non-partisan review of the previous and current governments award of petroleum exploration licenses in Guyana’s offshore.
We have nothing to hide and I do concur with former President Donald Ramotar, who as the then Minister with responsibility for Petroleum, earlier comment on this matter: “Any unbiased, professional independent review will once more confirm all due legal processes were followed and during the PPP/C time in office the country’s best interest was served, given the realities of the day.”
From the time of the current government’s assumption of office I have always made myself available for clarification and/or elaboration on policy decisions and actions taken in relation to my ministerial portfolios.
However, I will not be dragged into what is patently an elections propaganda campaign issue by a politically-controlled state agency and being promoted by sections of the media and so-called oil and gas ‘experts’ and ‘advisors’ one of whom to my knowledge was until recently one of the applicants for the award of an exploration block as part of a local business group”
The PPP/C’s achievements and unwavering determination in laying the foundations for Guyana to be an oil producing nation has been both stellar and transparent as well as in full conformity with all relevant laws and regulations.
I wish to caution against reckless and presumptive statements by vested interests as these can further undermine investors’ confidence and even encroach on sanctity of contracts and agreements with local and foreign investors.