The APNU+AFC’s resistance as well as its parliamentary tactics aimed at stymieing the US$900M gas-to-shore project only exposes its obvious fear of losing more supporters that stand to benefit from this transformational project. This was the essence of the arguments proffered by Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat during his contribution on Monday night in the National Assembly.
Under consideration at the time was a motion by Opposition Parliamentarian, David Patterson to have the project placed on hold until the Standing Committee of Natural Resources conducts several comprehensive studies on the project’s feasibility and environmental soundness.
Bharrat said Patterson’s motion at its heart does is infected by one vile intention: slow down progress in Guyana by any means necessary. He opined that this objective is fuelled by the general fear in the Opposition’s camp that Guyana is moving at a fast pace and if it continues along this trajectory with the PPP/C, the coalition would be shackled to the opposition post for a very long time.
“That is the fear that we are seeing in the fractured coalition today…That is the fear that is creating disunity among them. They lack unity, leadership, and a sense of direction so they fear that their own supporters will turn against them when they see the transformation that will be unleashed when we tap into the oil funds,” expressed Minister Bharrat.
Acutely aware of the true motive of the motion, Minister Bharrat said the PPP/C administration will not allow any opposition member to derail what will be the most transformational project in Guyana’s history.
Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill also noted that the motion is only a mechanism to stall the project because it is afraid it will bring economic development of massive proportions that the APNU+AFC failed to provide during its time in office. Minister Edghill said if Patterson truly wanted answers to his questions, he could have submitted same for written responses from the subject Minister, or have him hauled before the said committee to respond to his queries.
He argued as well that the request for the Standing Committee of Natural Resources to conduct studies on the project is outside of the scope of work of that parliamentary body, and therefore renders the motion, null and void.
Minister Edghill therefore contended that Patterson, and the opposition by extension, are clearly pulling every conceivable stunt to stall the project. But the government will not allow it, he said.
Patterson maintained that there are several questions about the project which warrant a careful review before it gets underway. He said the government has not explained who are the end-users of the power being supplied by the project; power which will be three times the demand when it starts up in 2026. He said too that concerns loom on matters regarding gas availability and the sales agreement being worked out with ExxonMobil.
Despite his concerns, his motion was nonetheless defeated.


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