US$18M ExxonMobil signing bonus transferred overseas to an interest-bearing account
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, April 13, 2018
The Government has invested the US$18M signing bonus from ExxonMobil in United States and Canadian bonds in order to gain interest, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan stated at a press conference today.
He disclosed that the money was invested in the Mature US Treasury Bill, Interest on Canada bond, Mature Canada bond and Purchase Neder Waterschaps Bank. Some US$36,163 in interest has been already earned since the funds were deposited overseas.
The minister explained, “If it stays here, it cannot earn interest. So, it is in matured US treasury bills, Canadian bonds.”
Minister Jordan reiterated that there was absolutely no secrecy about the signing bonus, and the Bank of Guyana, Accountant General or the Ministry of Finance could, if requested, make the information accessible to the public.
The Government received US$18M from ExxonMobil in September 2016. A letter to the Bank of Guyana for the creation of an account to receive the money had prescribed that the proceeds should be held in US dollars and “invested in secured interest-bearing securities.”
A total US$3M from the bonus was earmarked by the Government for training and capacity building in the oil and gas sector with the remaining sum expected to be used to fight Guyana’s case against Venezuela at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has indicated the amount required for the legal fees for the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy court case, the Finance Ministry, Minister Jordan said, will go to the National Assembly for a supplementary amount after which the cash would be converted and released to Consolidated Fund for disbursement.
By: Paul Mc Adam