Jagdeo betrayed Berbicians with his $US40.00 per car PONTOON bridge. Now this shameless fella “advises” Gov’t to BAIL OUT Babby and the other tiefman cronies who gambled on ‘PPP corruption forever’ and lost . . . NO! Drown you bandits

Subsidise Berbice Bridge or buy shares

-Jagdeo advises gov’t

 

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2...ridge-or-buy-shares/

Even as he stressed that the PPP does not support a Berbice Bridge toll increase, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said that the government should pay the differential on the proposed higher tariffs  or buy more shares in the beleaguered Berbice Bridge Company (BBCI).

“People in Berbice cannot pay that large increase so the government has two options,” Jagdeo told a press conference. He made that statement despite the fact that the agreement to permit phased increases in tariffs for bridge users was crafted under his administration.

“Buy out the other shareholders, buy out people so that more of the bridge becomes publicly owned or subsidise the increase that should take place in the toll. So they give an injection into the company so that the rate remains flat. They should do this and it would not cost them much. They waste money on a daily basis than if they were to do that,” he added.

Announcing that it has an accumulated $2.8B in losses, BBCI on Tuesday proposed hefty increases saying that these were in keeping with its contract with the government. The company warned that the current APNU+AFC administration’s continued denial of the hikes could lead it to bankruptcy.

The Berbice Bridge

“So the contractual obligations of the government as it relates to these adjustments have not been met. Please note that the failure to implement these adjustments is inconsistent with the concession Agreement and the provisions of the Act,” Chairman of BBCI Dr. Surendra Persaud told a press conference the company called on Tuesday.

“What is the result of this? The result of the government’s failure to implement the contractual agreement has led to the bridge company now accumulating a loss of $2.8B and the company now faces bankruptcy,” he added.

Persaud, who is also the Chairman of the NIS, said that while government had sent it no formal denial of the increases, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson told him that Cabinet did not approve the company’s proposal and that it must exhaust all avenues to make the fees feasible for commuters.

According to the contract signed with the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government in 2006, the implementation of the increases agreed would see cars and minibuses paying $8,040 this year, while pickups, four-wheel drive vehicles and small trucks would pay $14,800.

Rhetoric

Jagdeo said that when the agreement was devised for the construction of the bridge in 2006, under his presidency, a proposed rate increase was included in the contract. If that proposed formula was adhered to, he believes, the increases would not have been felt now.

“It would have gone up about 6% in 2014 about 17% in 2015 and then after that there would have been a steep decline from 2018 onwards up to when the bridge would be handed over to the government. We don’t know what has happened since,” he said.

Jagdeo maintains that government should step in and institute measures to ensure that that BBCI turns a profit since he believes that the problems created were made by the APNU+AFC, when it refused the increases.  A proposed increase was also refused under the PPP/C government.

“When we left office the revenue was doing better because traffic was higher. The model had two increases…they are in a dilemma now because they are caught by their own rhetoric. There was a parliamentary motion (by the opposition) to reduce it and we didn’t have the majority,” he said.

“They are who proposed that the rates would come down. What they do now (that they are in government) with the financial model will determine who participates later, whether they can trust the government in another public-private partnership,” he added.

It is to this end, that he called on government to either buy out shares or pay a subsidy to stop the bridge from going into liquidation.

“I believe the government should not increase but should buy out more equity and bonds. They have done it for Marriott why can’t they do it for this? They didn’t need a guarantee from the treasury. They can buy out from NIS and they can do anything,” he added.

The NIS owns 76% of the total shareholding of the BBCI. During the Jagdeo administration, decisions were made to have the Scheme invest heavily in the bridge. This investment had been questioned over the years. The NIS has not earned dividends from the investment.

Demerara Distillers Limited sold its 10% of shares in the bridge company in 2016 to the government for just over $40m.  Queens Atlantic Investment Inc. and Secure International Finance Company Limited are among other investors.

Come to the table

The government on Tuesday said that it is not contemplating any increases and stands by its decision.

 “The Ministry of Public Infrastructure notes comments by the Berbice Bridge Company officials at a press conference today, Tuesday, July 10, and wishes to assure all Berbicians and users of the Berbice Bridge that government is not contemplating any increases to the Berbice Bridge toll,” a statement from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure said on Tuesday.

“Government stands by its decision to reduce tolls in fulfilling a campaign commitment, and will continue to work with the Berbice Bridge Company in ensuring that the Bridge is sufficiently maintained and safe for vehicular and marine use,” it added.

BBCI yesterday said it noted the government’s stance but continues to call the Minister of Public Infrastructure to come to negotiations so that the matter could be resolved.

“The Company wishes to point out that the government…  has made it impossible for the Company to meet its contractual obligations to operate and maintain the bridge by the government refusing to honour the Concession Agreement under which the Company is provided with the necessary revenue to operate and maintain the bridge. As the Company has pointed out, its Board believes that the situation is fixable. There is a contract, there is an established formula within that contract and there are obligations to be met,” the statement said.

“The Company trusts, therefore, that the Minister of Public Infrastructure, instead of ignoring its application, will come to the table as required by the Concession Agreement,” it added.

Original Post
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Hey hey hey...

Labba posted:
ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Hey hey hey...

Indeed!

Django posted:

Ram Called Out Trotman and Granger, he went as far as calling Trotman a Liar, Hey Hey Hey:

Every Man, Woman and Child in Guyana Must Become Oil-Minded (Part 50)Three years on – is our country ready?

Introduction

Inspired by the May 20, 2015 announcement by ExxonMobil that it had made the largest discovery of petroleum resources for that year off the coast of Guyana, this column with the title Road to First Oil began, coincidentally, on May 26, 2017 and was expected to run for approximately twenty-five weeks. In fact, today’s column is the 50th in the series and there seems to be no reason why the Daily Editor would not wish to continue it indefinitely, albeit with a change in the contributor at some future date.

If for no other reason, the media and civil society need to guard against the seemingly single-minded pursuit of an oil economy to the exclusion of what President Granger has dubbed the six curses of Guyana – sugar, rice, bauxite, gold, diamonds, and timber – the essence of the Dutch Disease. In fact, there is little evidence of any conscious effort by the Government in the past three years to prevent the Dutch Disease from afflicting the country.

The purpose of today’s column is to assess the progress and preparation Guyana has made to being a petro-state following the first announcement made more than three years ago. The declared reserves at that stage of approximately eight hundred thousand barrels of oil has now jumped to at least four times that number. This is huge and puts Guyana among the world’s top oil producing countries measured by reserves per capita of population. But when it comes to petroleum, to use the language of Portia in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Guyana seems to be twice blessed – as volume increased so has the price for crude oil which has increased by approximately 40% in the last three years.

Back of the envelope calculations

The convergence of the stars means that (even) if prices stay as they are, Guyana can expect to receive more than the minimum of 14.25% of the gross revenue to be generated from the production and sale of oil. In fact, some back-of-the-envelope calculations on the assumption of an average price of US$70 and average production cost of US$35 per barrel would accrue to Guyana approximately US$19 per barrel made up of royalty of US$1.40 per barrel and profit oil of US$17.50.

Proper planning and some quality work by our economists three years after the first announcement and two years before First Oil should have allowed us to have better than back-of-the-envelope calculations. By now, the Government of Guyana should have engaged the oil companies on their cost of production and their estimates of what profit oil is expected to be. The oil companies cannot have it both ways – in one breath talking about a partnership with the Government while simultaneously concealing information vital for planning purposes by the Government.

It is only after this kind and quality of work that the country can talk about a Sovereign Wealth Fund rather than to treat it as some kind of legal instrument as the Cabinet is reported as doing. Or make any rational decision on whether the volumes which have now been incontrovertibly established supports on-shore processing of the production. We must not forget that while the law makes it pellucid that all petroleum resources belong to the State, our Government seems to think they belong to Exxon and its partners.

The earmarked bonus

But let us return to what we set out to do – see where we have come in the past three years since the first announcement. The first major development was the forced disclosure on the Guyana-Esso/Hess/CNOOC Agreement after nearly eighteen months of obfuscation, denials and lies by Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and his colleagues of a completely new Petroleum Agreement in place of Janet Jagan’s 1999 Agreement. Trotman himself had justified non-disclosure on the basis of his elementary misinterpretation of a confidentiality clause in the 2016 Agreement which largely mirrored the relevant provision in the 1986 Petroleum Exploration and Production Act.

The publication of the Agreement minus the Annexures came only after the revelation that the Government had received a signing bonus of US$18 million which it had stashed away outside of the Consolidated Fund. A legal action that this is in violation of the Constitution is now engaging the attention of the High Court. The annexures were subsequently released after further pressure was brought by the media but to date the Bridging Deed referred to in the 2016 Agreement has still not been released. Not released too are the terms of the farm-out Agreements signed by Esso with Hess and CNOOC/Nexen in 2014 for which Esso would have no doubt collected some not insignificant sums.

Implications of those pre-contract costs

The publication of Annex C was particularly interesting, disclosing as it did that the oil companies had spent US$460 million in pre-contract costs up to December 31, 2015 all of which was fully recoverable as cost oil along with expenditure between January 1, 2016 and June 2016 when the new contract was signed. What made the pre-December 2015 pre-contract cost particularly interesting and justified a call for an investigation into the sum asserted was that the total amount not only did not add up to US$460 million, but also that it excluded any sum recovered by Esso from the various side agreements it signed with the two other oil companies in 2014 and a similar agreement with Shell a few years earlier.

Guyana laws have a term – fraud – where a person claims more than s/he is entitled to but our Government seems unwilling to exercise its right – and indeed its duty – to verify the amount allegedly spent by Esso and its partners.

As this column has shown, the Petroleum Agreement contains some other egregious provisions of which the four most offensive are (1) the stability clause; (2) the power of a Minister to bind successive governments in perpetuity without even the façade of parliamentary cover; (3) self-insurance by the oil companies against all risks; and (4) incredibly applying pre-discovery conditions to a post-discovery situation. All the apologists who decry others as pessimists and prophets of doom should have the courage to justify such reckless action by Raphael Trotman which has received the full-throated support of Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge and President Granger.

Recklessness on a historically unprecedented scale

It is clear to anyone familiar with contracts made by any Government in this country since 1966 that this is the most lop-sided, reckless and costly contract since Independence, bar none. Indeed, in terms of revenue forgone, it may not be an exaggeration to say that this Agreement will cost Guyana more than all other contracts signed by all other governments in the history of this country. The Granger Government has undone all the nationalisation contracts engineered by the late Forbes Burnham when he bought valuable assets for G$1!

Meanwhile Trotman, for all his unbelievable lack of performance remains as Minister, either because of his loyalty or because of some rule that Ministers in a coalition Government cannot be fired! And he remains as the chief spokesman on petroleum months after responsibility for petroleum was transferred to the Ministry of the Presidency!

Let us not forget that Minister Trotman has not passed a single piece of petroleum legislation in three critical years, nor has he taken the elementary step of appointing a Chief Inspector as required by the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act. If Minister Trotman had taken the time to read the relevant legislation, he would know that Guyana has no environmental protection legislation specific to the petroleum sector, arguably as important for its existential implications and the fiscal terms are for the national budget and the economy.

Another major omission or failure by the Government is its failure to conceptualise and articulate a policy on the domestic oil price post First Oil. We have been told for decades that our agro-industrial sector is being retarded because of electricity costs of which fuel price is a major component. Surely the Government cannot wait until 2020 to formulate a position.

Another disturbing development is not only the silence of civil society but how easy it has been for Exxon to buy their loyalty with a rental or services contract here or a donation there. While for some of the businesses it was a matter of straight dollars and cents – and I am particularly saddened to see how Oil Now has become no more than an Exxon’s mouthpiece – there can hardly be any justification for entities like Iwokrama and Conservation International to take money from the oil companies. No wonder that they have been so silent on the flawed Environmental Impact Assessment study which contained some highly suspect information and conclusions.

Conclusion

The over seventies like me recall the days prior to Independence when the initials of our colony were caustically referred to as Bookers Guyana and for the less old ones when MacKenzie was described as a company town. At the rate at which we are developing the oil sector, Guyana will soon become a company country, with Exxon beyond the reach of our laws, our Constitution and our Parliament.

It is perhaps not an irretrievable situation but clearly there needs to be manpower changes and more leadership from the President. He needs to take charge before it is too late.

http://www.chrisram.net/?p=1981

ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Why reinvent the wheel? Why no repair and maintain it? You should be happy that the PNC is strangling the coolie people. It's called slow extermination.

skeldon_man posted:
ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Why reinvent the wheel? Why no repair and maintain it?

i have no problem with that in the short term

tell me, what ‘terms’ you propose we IMPOSE pan jagdeo/Babby dem when de Gov’t tek over de bridge to prevent it from falling into the river?

hmmm . . .

ronan posted:
skeldon_man posted:
ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Why reinvent the wheel? Why no repair and maintain it?

i have no problem with that in the short term

tell me, what ‘terms’ you propose we IMPOSE pan jagdeo/Babby dem when de Gov’t tek over de bridge to prevent it from falling into the river?

hmmm . . .

Don't need to impose terms. If PNC can spend the money on sport up and wine down, they can surely spend some of that money to do repairs on the bridge. You would love to see dem coolies waiting at Rosignol stelling for some type of transportation, just like Burnham and Hoyte days. Blackman would stretch dem had fuh dem coolie bribes.

skeldon_man posted:
ronan posted:
skeldon_man posted:
ronan posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...let de bridge sink na...only dem coolie go suffa...hey hey hey.

nope . . . build a proper one that won’t strangle the “coolie” people and fatten the pockets of jagdeo’s tiefman friends

but what’s new . . . you are, after all, a long time booster/cheerleader for the Babby crony relationship

uh huh

Why reinvent the wheel? Why no repair and maintain it?

i have no problem with that in the short term

tell me, what ‘terms’ you propose we IMPOSE pan jagdeo/Babby dem when de Gov’t tek over de bridge to prevent it from falling into the river?

hmmm . . .

Don't need to impose terms.

why . . . you want public money to fatten tiefman pocket?

but of course you do!

my bad

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