Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, today said the Government is creating an environment for ordinary citizens not to benefit from the country’s oil and gas resources.
His comments came in response to statements made by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo last week, while addressing an outreach in Berbice.
At the outreach, the Vice President said inadequate revenues are currently flowing from the oil and gas sector and urged citizens to temper their expectations.
Today, the Opposition Leader said the government through Vice President Jagdeo appears to have set the stage for very few to benefit from the country’s oil resources.
“At the government’s outreach at Bath (WCB) last Wednesday, he quashed the hopes of Guyanese citizens by stating that there is inadequate revenue emerging from the oil and gas sector. This is a LIE. It is a clear attempt to ensure that our people do not benefit. It is also a violation of our people’s basic rights. In this case, Jagdeo again recited his government’s claim that Guyana’s current and projected oil revenues are inadequate to lift the living standards of the masses,” the Opposition Leader said.
Mr. Norton said the Opposition is convinced that the government’s approach is intended to deprive Guyanese of their benefits while a selected few benefit.
“Exxon’s own projections show Guyana moving from 120,000 barrels of oil per day in 2020 to a minimum of 800,000 barrels of oil per day in 2025. This represents an increase of over 550% in only a few years! It will result in a gargantuan surge in GDP, unmatched by anything in our country’s history. Within a few short years of oil production, Guyana’s GDP will have doubled. The problem, however, is that the PPP is preventing these resources from meeting our people,” Norton said.
The Opposition Leader says his party is convinced that Guyana’s current and projected oil wealth, once well-managed and used to fund a holistic people-centered development strategy can end poverty, expand and lift the quality of life of all Guyanese, and generally transform Guyana into a developed state.
The Government has repeatedly said that all citizens will benefit from the oil resources. It has pointed to massive infrastructure works being planned and other initiatives that will provide employment.