‘We have done more in a single year than APNU did in five years’ – Jagdeo blasts Stabroek News editorial
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has reiterated the governing party’s ability to deliver on the majority of its manifesto promises, compared to the five years of the APNU+AFC’s tenure in office.
Dr Jagdeo was responding to an editorial published in the Stabroek News at his weekly press conference, which paints a false picture that the party has not been able to make progress in several areas over the past three years.
He described the article as vile and reminded that every single PPP/C government has managed to move Guyana forward and this is evident in its track record.
“We have done more in a single year for the people of this country, in terms of welfare than APNU did in five years and we can show that historically, the PPP has always moved this country forward in every single facet of life,” the GS emphasised.
In relation to the regulatory framework of the oil and gas sector, the general secretary highlighted that several pieces of legislation were enacted in the National Assembly, signalling the government’s commitment to the prudent management of the petroleum sector.
“I have on a number of occasions sat right here and said that we have had in a short period, one of the most aggressive agendas for improving the regulatory and the management framework for the oil and gas sector.
“We have amended the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) … today it has gained international kudos because of the amendments that we made. Significant amendments that vastly enhanced the transparency in the use of the resources,” the GS explained.
Additionally, the administration committed to ending the first come, first serve model for the oil and gas industry and subsequently launched an auction for oil blocks remaining offshore Guyana. That auction is ongoing and is expected to conclude sometime in September.
“Thirdly, we have now drafted a new Production Sharing Agreement (PSA). Fourthly, we’re passing the petroleum activities bill … we have passed a Local Content Law, which has driven over $400 million of business to local people,” he added.
The government has also strengthened provisions in petroleum licenses and has made them public, while a carbon tax for oil companies was also introduced. These are some of the initiatives that were plugged to strengthen the management of the local oil and gas industry.
Dr Jagdeo also made it clear that the proceeds earned from the oil and gas industry are being pumped into numerous developmental projects that are being undertaken as well as into the welfare of the people.
These include the new Demerara River Bridge, a $11.2 billion highway linking Schoonard to Crane and the new Eccles to Diamond four-lane highway.
“It will change their lives, with this bridge it will change the lives of the people, the bridge and the road. But we must please, Stabroek News and the others because you mustn’t do these things and campaign on it in 2025 … and they still ask where the oil money is going.”
He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to achieving carbon net zero even while it is pursuing the development of the Wales gas-to-energy project, which will cut electricity cost by 50 per cent.
Dr Jagdeo continued, “Our commitment to net zero is one of the strongest commitments in the world. We’re already playing a significant role in decarbonising the world through our forests. We’re already carbon negative.”
Also, significant investments are being pumped into the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation(GPHC), to improve its services and provide quality healthcare to citizens, among many other investments.