Guyana minister allegedly sought GY$20 million bribe
By David Gajadar, Published on April 12, 2017, http://www.caribbeannewsnow.co...ion-bribe-34094.html
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- An international oil and gas consultant who operates an Oil and Gas Academy in Guyana has named several individuals who are affiliated with a local training institution and a senior government official at the ministry of natural resources and the environment as the alleged masterminds behind a covert effort to close down his oil consultancy operations there.
Michael Boer, a former research analyst at British Petroleum (BP), one of the leading oil and gas producing companies in the world, and the managing partner of the Oil and Gas Academy in Guyana and Curacao, has alleged that a senior functionary at the ministry of natural resources had demanded at least GY$20 million (US$98,000) from him late last year to exclusively operate an oil and gas school in Guyana.
The official had threatened that, if Boer can’t pay up, members of another group that are about to set up an oil and gas school there will be willing to pay that amount and more for exclusivity.
He said that the discussions were held via telephone and Skype with the official who alleged that the minister of natural resources himself was demanding GY$20 million to exclusively operate an oil and gas school. Hence he was only helping him out.
(The phone call log, emails and recorded video chats on Skype have been supplied to the Guyana Guardian, and will be published in a follow-up story later this week)
However, Boer refused the offer and decided to set up a consultancy instead, to serve as an intermediary between local prospective trainees and two key US based universities.
At the time, he sought the assistance of Dennis Adonis, with whom he shared a business relationship on LinkedIn, and who had stayed at one of his homes in South Africa last year.
Adonis had agreed to lease a section of his office space to Boer to accommodate his staff, and to further take care of his legal obligations in Guyana including business registration, etc.
To that end, Adonis registered and secured the business name on behalf of Boer and maintains his bank accounts in Guyana.
Boer currently works as an oil and gas consultant with the Saudi government and is involved in various training projects around the world.
However, after the establishment of Boer’s oil and gas training consultancy in Guyana, operatives from the ministry of natural resources and another private institution began to harass Boer’s staff after local students were shunning their training operations.
Unlike the local institution that offers oil and gas courses that are not internationally recognized, Boer’s consultancy course materials and certification are provided by the University of Texas – Petroleum Extension; an institution that is recognize by all major oil companies including Exxon Mobil.
Because of this, Guyanese were more willing to do their oil and gas training via Boer’s Oil and Gas Academy in a bid to ensure that they received an internationally recognized certification.
Frustrated by this and wanting to get rid of the Oil and Gas Academy that is owned by Boer, the affected institution and its representatives at the ministry of natural resources decided to target Adonis, the man who is representing Boer’s business and legal interest in Guyana, including publication of an article in the Kaietuer News (on 11 April) that was designed to deter the public from doing business with Boer’s company since Adonis is supposedly one of the point men there.
However, in an exclusive interview with the Guyana Guardian, Boer explained that, while Adonis is entrusted with the legal aspects of his business affairs in Guyana, the man does not manages the Oil and Gas Academy, or have anything to do with its functions.
He suggested that corrupt officials, who are bent on protecting the interest of a particular oil and gas school, are bent on putting the Oil and Gas Academy out of business; hence they would have gone the distance to make his operation look bad.
He maintains that no oil and gas school in Guyana offers courses that are internationally recognized, other than the Oil and Gas Academy.
Angered by this corrupt move, Boer said that he would now take the $20 million that the government officials were asking him to pay as bribe, and donate it to the Guyanese people so that they can pursue various oil and gas courses through the Oil and Gas Academy free of cost.
He concluded that until Guyana can get rid of its corruption cancer, all of the gains from oil and gas will only benefit a particular clique of people who are bent on keeping others out.
Republished with permission of the Guyana Guardian