From 2015 to now, established political parties have not demonstrated that they have what it takes to manage the oil sector in the interest of the citizenry. This is according to Petroleum Consultant, Dr Jan Mangal.
According to the anti-corruption advocate, it is important that Guyanese remember that the main political parties have had 53 years to prove themselves, and they have failed in this respect. Dr Mangal stressed that Guyana is far from being the prosperous nation that it should be, considering its abundant natural resources and ingenious people. He also emphasised that the working class needs to lead the way with respect to improving governance, especially for natural resources.
The Oil and Gas Consultant said, “The people need to recognise that some of the influential and powerful amongst us may be more inclined to advance their own interests as opposed to those of the nation. Thus, the people need to utilise proven concepts which increase accountability and reduce corruption in the systems of governance.”
Dr Mangal opined that the people need to insist on complete transparency in all government business, especially those related to oil, gold, land, et cetera. He also stated that the people need to insist on open governance, with all pertinent documents/records placed on the internet so the people themselves can interrogate government decisions on a near real-time basis. In addition to this, Dr Mangal asserted that the citizenry should ensure that no political party has overwhelming power, and should encourage more new parties. He said, “Power has been and will be abused, so power should be limited and should be more diverse.”
Be that as it may, the anti-corruption advocate did allude to the fact that the President David Granger-led administration seems more inclined to be transparent when it comes to certain issues. In this regard, Dr Mangal said, “We still have to recognise President David Granger for what he has done. He has released contracts and even challenged his ministers on issues surrounding oil. But in the case of the PPP, there is a cabal in the party who, when they were in power, did not release any contracts. They seemed to operate in secrecy; they awarded the Canje and Kaieteur Blocks to non-entities as if the natural resources belong to them and not the people.”
Dr Mangal said nonetheless that one should not criticise a whole political party because of the track record of a group of its leaders. He expressed hope that each party would be extremely careful to choose leaders with the most ethical of records.