‘We collect every bit of the 2% oil royalty’ – VP Jagdeo assures the nation

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has reassured the nation that the government is collecting every penny from the two per cent royalty from ExxonMobil as part of the Stabroek Block’s Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

As per the agreement, Guyana is entitled to two per cent of all petroleum produced and sold as royalty, in addition to 50 per cent of all profits.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

For context, royalty is the payment a company makes to the government for the right to extract resources from its territory.

However, there have been various speculations by political commentators, Dr Kendrick Hunte and Christopher Ram, that only 0.5% in royalties are being collected by the government and some $73.8 million in royalties is unaccounted for.

Dr Jagdeo, again rubbished these claims, describing the analyses as ‘wild speculation’, stating that these commentators lack technical competence

“This is the sort of thing every week we have to contend with …the basis is clear …the royalty is collected, it’s a two per cent royalty and we collect every bit of it and we’ve outlined the basis in which it collected,” he reiterated during a press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday.

The vice president expressed frustration with local newspapers thriving on lies and political commentators distorting the truth.

“They just look for anybody who says something anti-government or to prove that we’re not doing our job and then they headline it and then shamelessly, they would never correct it. You could give a hundred explanations when they’re caught and exposed; they will never go back to correct it to say we were wrong,” he lamented.

Vice President Jagdeo had previously addressed this speculation, making it clear that the calculations were wrong on the critics’ part.

On the other hand, a former minister under the coalition government, Dominic Gaskin, has agreed that Guyana’s royalties and production share for the period under review are reflected in the actual amounts reported by the Natural Resources Fund

He has called the suggestion that Guyana is only receiving 0.5 per cent in royalty payments as ‘nothing short of a load of nonsense’.

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