Even though the coalition administration during its time in office had called on ExxonMobil and other oil companies to provide regular briefs to the PPP/C Party, which they did, Former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson lamented earlier today that the same courtesy is not being extended now that the PPP/C is in office.
In fact, during his contribution to the 2021 budget presentation, Patterson claimed that the APNU+AFC has been left out in the proverbial cold as it is yet to be briefed on key matters.
The Parliamentarian said, “…The APNU+AFC administration, via our Minister of Natural Resources, (Raphael Trotman) made it a requirement that Exxon fully briefs the (then) PPP opposition on every new discovery and development.” The former Minister said these briefings were conducted bilaterally between Exxon and the PPP, with no involvement from our Government while adding that it was done because it was the coalition’s opinion that all political parties should be fully briefed on this important emerging industry.
Now that there PPP/C holds the reins of office, he said, “The opposition has yet to be briefed by any of the operators because the Government has requested that no information be shared with us – this is in stark contrast to our handling of this sector and does not reflect the claims of inclusiveness that the Government has been making speeches about.”
Patterson said that this approach does not auger well for the nation and stressed that a unified front has allowed “various parties to exploit the divisions” which ultimately, is not to the benefit of the country and its citizens.
Patterson said it is the opposition’s position, that once both sides present a unified position to the nation’s international partners, the harder it will be for them to continue ignoring their concerns. Moving forward, the politician said this issue is squarely in the hands of the Government. “The time for grandstanding and blame is over, it’s time to act in the best interest of the citizens of our country,” the Parliamentarian concluded.