Chris Ram says he’s been told there was a US$20m signing bonus with Exxon.

Chris Ram says he’s been told there was a US$20m signing bonus with Exxon -no answer from gov’t.

October 30,2017

Source

While the government has remained silent on the matter, columnist Christopher Ram says he has been told that there was a US$20M signature bonus paid by ExxonMobil as part of the new contract agreement signed when the APNU+AFC government took office.

He says this may be one of the reasons why the government continues to hold out on making the contract available.

“The Government of Guyana used the excuse of a new licence to extract a signature bonus, a payment made by a contractor on the signing of an Agreement to take up any given number of blocks. The figure I have been told is twenty million United States Dollars,” Ram said in his Stabroek News column ‘The Road to First Oil’ last Friday.

He maintains that there was “absolutely no reason“ for a new Petroleum Agree-ment with ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Limited and its joint venture partners since the agreement signed under the late President Janet Jagan’s administration, back in 1999, was set to last the entire duration of the Prospecting and Production Licences respectively.

According to Ram, he has been told by sources that the current government “used the excuse of a new licence to extract a signature bonus” and believes that in the interest of transparency government should come clean on the matter.

Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman says he will not be speaking on any matters pertaining to contractual arrangements on oil and gas matters and will let Cabinet guide what should be made public.

“Nothing on the contract I am discussing. I would like to take this whole issue of the publication of the contract to cabinet for guidance because it is not a Trotman issue it is a government position and I won’t be able to discuss it,” Trotman told Stabroek News, earlier this month, when asked about whether government collected a signature bonus from ExxonMobil when a new agreement was signed with it. ExxonMobil itself has not said anything about this.

“I am not giving any comment at all until I get guidance from cabinet on anything to do with the contractual relationship,” Trotman added.

Government has refused to make the contract public and would only say there were minor changes to the old 1999 contract agreement.

Earlier this year, Trotman had justified the move saying that only the “salient points” of the contract agreement will be made public for security and other reasons.

“In so far as full disclosure at this point in time, I think government is of the view that full disclosure would not be to the best of the national benefit or national interest,” Trotman had told a media breakfast where his ministry and ExxonMobil provided updates on the nascent oil and gas sector.

“Right now we are prepared to share the salient features of the contract, it is a 50/50 production share agreement…that means that Exxon and its partners will share 50 percent between themselves and Guyana will (have) 50 percent,” he added.

The Minister said that while he was not speaking for government as to a reason why the full disclosure should not be made as yet, he will weigh in and advise President David Granger of the myriad reasons, including the security of the nation.

Trotman reminded that the contract signed with ExxonMobil and government predates the APNU+AFC government’s accession to office as it was signed in 1999 with the PPP/C administration.

Divulge

But pointing to Guyana’s recent boasting that it has been accepted as a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Ram flayed government’s posture saying that the case now is even stronger for it to show transparency and divulge what monies have been received.

“It would be folly to think that our new found status of EITI membership will lead to any significant enhancement in terms of disclosure and accountability – there is simply no sign of any willingness on the part of this Administration. Indeed, the defining characteristic of the Administration in the petroleum sector is to mislead without actually lying. For example, all the while when Mr. Trotman claimed, wrongfully, that he was hamstrung in what he could disclose under the PPP/C’s 1997 [non-]amendment to section 4 of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, he had in fact signed a completely new Agreement in which he was free to make whatever provisions he considered necessary in the national interest to be inserted in his 2016 Agreement. From all indications he did nothing,” Ram stated.

The lawyer and chartered accountant said that he hopes that EITI would take note and called on the local Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc. (TIGI) to take on the responsibility in ensuring that there is adequate disclosure.

In the meantime, Ram continues to call on government to urgently make public if it collected any monies and how it was used.

“Was Guyana paid a signing bonus on signing of the secret Trotman Agreement, and if so how, when and how is that money accounted for? If this information is accurate, the question is to whom was the payment made? “

And even as he commended the government for early budgets, he believes that it should not be done with the possibility of transactions not being properly and fully accounted for or being discounted because of the incomplete fiscal year.

 

Original Post

This is yet another example of Granger's failure to keep one of his election promises, ie to run a transparent administration. There are many examples to show that Granger back-pedalled on his statements. Today's Stabroek News Editorial points out that Granger had promised to ask Jagdeo for GECOM lists until he got an acceptable one, and had promised to set up a bi-partisan committee to help drive the process forward. However, before that committee was set up, Granger arbitrarily stopped the process and named Patterson. Gilbakka does not trust Granger to keep his promises. He has demonstrated a pattern of back-pedalling and unreliability.

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

VishMahabir posted:

Ram may be trying to stay in the media...and rebelling against what Harmon said about him...he should resign from ALL paid positions he has with the coalition if he is serious about what he is doing.

I fully agree.

kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

THis is PNC version of Transparency and the namakaram Crabdaag  version of being the guardian of waste, corruption and Transparency!!!

Nehru posted:
kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

THis is PNC version of Transparency and the namakaram Crabdaag  version of being the guardian of waste, corruption and Transparency!!!

They pocketed the money and closed the sugar factories. Why were these guys elected?????

skeldon_man posted:
Nehru posted:
kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

THis is PNC version of Transparency and the namakaram Crabdaag  version of being the guardian of waste, corruption and Transparency!!!

They pocketed the money and closed the sugar factories. Why were these guys elected?????

Yeah Bhai,they starving the Indo Guyanese.Who the r@ss want to cut cane in these modern times where Education is free in the homeland.

Waiting for some to say wait a minute at one level you got to pay.

kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

KP Bhai, dem seh my cut is in de mail. Chris Ram should show us the proof. 

Chris Ram should show us the proof to back up his allegation. If the payment stipulation is embedded in the contact, then he has no way of supplying proof and can only do so if the government releases the contract.

or the legislative committee on finance?? (the one chaired By irfan) can request that EITI intervene and try to get released the contract or payment info if any was made.

i am surprised that opposing and civic groups have not raised the issue with other international agencies dealing with corruption and transparency to which guyana is a signatory.

Django posted: Who the r@ss want to cut cane in these modern times where Education is free in the homeland.
 

In 1976, ie 41 years ago, Burnham took over all private schools and made education free. In the early 1990s fee-charging private schools reappeared under Hoyte and have multiplied since then. This restricts the ability of many low-income parents to finance their kids' learning. And, even though education is free in government schools, there is and has always been unequal levels of development. Always brilliant students and dullards, always fast learners and slow ones. You can take a horse to the river but you cannot force the horse to drink free river water.

So, naturally, the dullards have to cut cane and do manual work to earn their livelihood after leaving school. Even brilliant school leavers were cutting cane in the late 1960s. Some were my schoolmates. I may be wrong, but I think our bright Django did a stint of cane cutting too. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

Gilbakka posted:
Django posted: Who the r@ss want to cut cane in these modern times where Education is free in the homeland.
 

In 1976, ie 41 years ago, Burnham took over all private schools and made education free. In the early 1990s fee-charging private schools reappeared under Hoyte and have multiplied since then. This restricts the ability of many low-income parents to finance their kids' learning. And, even though education is free in government schools, there is and has always been unequal levels of development. Always brilliant students and dullards, always fast learners and slow ones. You can take a horse to the river but you cannot force the horse to drink free river water.

So, naturally, the dullards have to cut cane and do manual work to earn their livelihood after leaving school. Even brilliant school leavers were cutting cane in the late 1960s. Some were my schoolmates. I may be wrong,u but I think our bright Django did a stint of cane cutting too. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

You are correct,did it for a couple of years in my early 20's,it's a back breaking job was able to cut and load 3 tons a day,the $$ had power in those years,also i was single.That was after my stint in the city of Georgetown.

Regarding free Education,we paid for text books and the British Exams,i can recall money was tight for the exam fees.

Gilbakka posted:

This is yet another example of Granger's failure to keep one of his election promises, ie to run a transparent administration.

When APNU/AFC came into office Jagdeo took them to school to tell them ho it is done.  Given that these ageing gentlemen are much older than Jagdeo, considerably poorer, they have a need to amass wealth quickly. They are also quite aware that their prospect of victory in 2020 seems increasingly remote (their hassling of their base guarantees that they stay home and the cross over vote, not all being Indians, will also stay away).  So this increases the urgency.

In addition apparently they agreed to keep corrupt transaction payments, negotiated before they came to power, that PPP officials agreed. Indeed one of them who fled Guyana almost as soon as the PPP lost has been screaming to get his share of the payments that he is "entitled" to. So he thinks.

PPP=PNC/AFC and so I don't know why people are joining sides when they ought to be demanding that a new constitution should be a priority. This will not only address issues of racial/regional insecurity and reduce the power centralized around the president, and also ensure that no gov't official including the president is above the law.  It will also address issues of transparency. 

Folks can continue to let the illegal Burnham constitution be the legal basis for how the gov't operates.  But then they shouldn't cry when the inevitable happens.

Gilbakka posted:

Gilbakka does not trust Granger to keep his promises. He has demonstrated a pattern of back-pedalling and unreliability.

Gilbakka can think what he wants but Granger is entitled to do whatever the illegal Burnham constitution allows him to do, once it is the law of the land.

Guyanese like foreigners to solve our problems. Why we think that the 4th poorest country in the hemisphere with a population equivalent to a mid sized city is deemed important to major nations is anyone's guess.

Nothing will happen until Guyanese make it happen.  Civic society needs to organize a huge protest to demand that revising the constitution is made a higher priority. And when Jagdeo shows up they should chase him away because in the decade or so that he could have done this he didn't.

caribny posted:
Gilbakka posted:

This is yet another example of Granger's failure to keep one of his election promises, ie to run a transparent administration.

When APNU/AFC came into office Jagdeo took them to school to tell them ho it is done.

So now Jagdeo was responsible for the Coalition breaking their promises. 

Mitwah posted:
kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

KP Bhai, dem seh my cut is in de mail. Chris Ram should show us the proof. 

The proof is in the contract.  Tell Trott to show the people the contract  the whole contact. 

ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
Gilbakka posted:

This is yet another example of Granger's failure to keep one of his election promises, ie to run a transparent administration.

When APNU/AFC came into office Jagdeo took them to school to tell them ho it is done.

So now Jagdeo was responsible for the Coalition breaking their promises. 

Yep he is . If he was a better person his party woulda still be in power and the coalition would never be in a position to break their promises. See wuh ah sayin?

cain posted:
ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
Gilbakka posted:

This is yet another example of Granger's failure to keep one of his election promises, ie to run a transparent administration.

When APNU/AFC came into office Jagdeo took them to school to tell them ho it is done.

So now Jagdeo was responsible for the Coalition breaking their promises. 

Yep he is . If he was a better person his party woulda still be in power and the coalition would never be in a position to break their promises. See wuh ah sayin?

Now that you put it this way, it makes a hell of a lot of sense. 

If only Carib would learn to articulate better. 

kp posted:
Mitwah posted:
kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

KP Bhai, dem seh my cut is in de mail. Chris Ram should show us the proof. 

The proof is in the contract.  Tell Trott to show the people the contract  the whole contact. 

The PPP have a copy. Like you seem to forget, Jagdeo was the one who created it. Now he wants his cut. 

Mitwah posted:
kp posted:
Mitwah posted:
kp posted:

If what Chris Ram is saying is a lie, then show the Guyanese people the whole contract. $20,000,000 US is a hell-of-a-lot of money in Guyana terms, that is $2,000,000 US each to the top 10 PNC boys. Mitwah, Django and others is that what you voted for?? well, it's only good if you get piece of the pie.

KP Bhai, dem seh my cut is in de mail. Chris Ram should show us the proof. 

The proof is in the contract.  Tell Trott to show the people the contract  the whole contact. 

The PPP have a copy. Like you seem to forget, Jagdeo was the one who created it. Now he wants his cut. 

That contract was amended by the PNC gov't to get Quick cash. So what you are saying, the PNC inherited the contract from the PPP. So tell me, what have them done for over TWO YEARS they inherited prosperity from the PPP. What the PNC have done is, Over promised and now Under deliver. With all fairness can't you guys see  the Afro PNC did a Black Magic on the poor people of Guyana, I agree the majority are not educated, please don't fall in that category. Let's all join and stop this madness.

Mitwah posted:

KP, do you know how many Indos stayed away from the polls in 2015? Do you know the primary reason for them not voting?  Hint, they wanted to vote for the AFC. 

Did the AFC screwed up by morphing into the PNC denying those indos from voting their choice. Supposedly the AFC had very educated members. How did they manage to self destruct like that? 

Mitwah posted:
 

The PPP have a copy. Like you seem to forget, Jagdeo was the one who created it. Now he wants his cut. 

I believe that Ram is referring to the amended contract. Secondly, wasn't Janet Jagan the President when the first contract was signed?

Mitwah posted:

KP, do you know how many Indos stayed away from the polls in 2015? Do you know the primary reason for them not voting?  Hint, they wanted to vote for the AFC. 

Many Indos and Afros wanted a third force, the AFC was that party, but remember what Ramjatan stated ,that the AFC will never join the PNC or the AFC will be dead meat. Well, time shows exactly that happened and today AFC is dead meat, the statement of one representative cause the lost of trust of the entire party. Come next election, AFC will not gain ONE seat. The people of Guyana are tired of the election process, because is either PPP or PNC will win, so is how best one can lie and make big promises and just before election to give freebies, today the PNC have $20 M US to give away to buy votes, How CAN THEY LOOSE??

cain posted:
kp postedd
 With all fairness can't you guys see  the Afro PNC did a Black Magic on the poor people of Guyana, 

 

Is it now Afro PNC vs Indo PPP?

For as long as the PPP and PNC have been around, they have had members and supporters from all races in Guyana. 

kp posted:
 

The people of Guyana are tired of the election process, because is either PPP or PNC will win, so is how best one can lie and make big promises and just before election to give freebies, today the PNC have $20 M US to give away to buy votes, How CAN THEY LOOSE??

Looks like Granger isn't planning to win an election because it looks like he is not planning to have an election. 

cain posted:
kp postedd
 With all fairness can't you guys see  the Afro PNC did a Black Magic on the poor people of Guyana, 

 

Is it now Afro PNC vs Indo PPP?

Why fool ourselves, it has been for decades the country voted along racial lines. Some of you want to be Political Correct to say NICE things, but the fact remains ,the Blackman always voted for PNC and the Indos for PPP, The United Force [UF] was created for the other races, but what happened, they went to bed with the PNC and got SCREWED!!!

kp posted:
Mitwah posted:

KP, do you know how many Indos stayed away from the polls in 2015? Do you know the primary reason for them not voting?  Hint, they wanted to vote for the AFC. 

Many Indos and Afros wanted a third force, the AFC was that party, but remember what Ramjatan stated ,that the AFC will never join the PNC or the AFC will be dead meat. Well, time shows exactly that happened and today AFC is dead meat, the statement of one representative cause the lost of trust of the entire party. Come next election, AFC will not gain ONE seat. The people of Guyana are tired of the election process, because is either PPP or PNC will win, so is how best one can lie and make big promises and just before election to give freebies, today the PNC have $20 M US to give away to buy votes, How CAN THEY LOOSE??

That the AFC is "Dead Meat" is PPP propaganda. If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. 

Isn't your PPP the "Dead Meat? Now that you have come to the conclusion based on  unverified assumptions that today the PNC have $20 M US to give away to buy votes, How CAN THEY LOOSE??  

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