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Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By Don­ald Ramo­tar

The

APNU–AFC regime has been con­spic­u­ously silent on the progress, or lack thereof, on is­sues of the Guyana – Nor­way Agree­ment. Although this gov­ern­ment has be­come no­to­ri­ous for its lack of open­ness and trans­parency, their ret­i­cence on this sub­ject is es­pe­cially sur­pris­ing be­cause this part­ner­ship is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant bilateral re­la­tion­ships in Guyana’s his­tory and one in which the Guyanese peo­ple have al­ways been keenly in­ter­ested.

Specif­i­cally, there are two main is­sues for which an­swers are needed, namely the sta­tus of pay­ments earned un­der the Part­ner­ship and the de­ci­sion on the Amaila Falls Hy­dropower Project (AFHP).

In May 2015, just days be­fore the elec­tions, I an­nounced that Guyana had earned a fifth pay­ment of US$40 mil­lion, which will be trans­ferred to the Guyana REDD+ In­vest­ment Fund (GRIF).

As a re­sult, when the PPP/ C left of­fice in May 2015, Guyana had earned five pay­ments that to­taled US$190 mil­lion. Of this, it will be re­called that US$80 mil­lion was de­posited in the In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB) as Gov­ern­ment’s eq­uity in the AFHP. The re­main­ing funds were to be held in the GRIF. The funds held in the GRIF were used to de­velop hin­ter­land com­mu­ni­ties, pro­mote mi­cro and small busi­ness own­er­ship and en­hance drainage on the coast among other projects.

Un­der my ad­min­is­tra­tion, the sixth and fi­nal per­for­mance as­sess­ment was sched­uled to be con­ducted in Septem­ber 2015. The suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this process would have led to a pay­ment val­ued up to US$25 mil­lion. Fur­ther, upon ex­piry of the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand-

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