My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Bruce Golding, Corruption in the PCJ and the search for Oil

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bruce Golding, Corruption in the PCJ and the search for Oil

It seems that Ruth Potopsingh, the Director of the PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) has finally been caught after years of defrauding the Government of Jamaica as stated in the Prime Time News, aired Tuesday April 20th 2010, on Television Jamaica as auditors are rarely telling tales on the basis of political agenda, as is the feeling of some member of John Public who surmise politics is the rationale for her sacking, as was also suggested in the case of the impromptu departure of the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Derrick Lattibeaudiere.

But this again, I detect that the people of Jamaica are being drawn down another slipper slope, as is the case with the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the curious case of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and our rather woefully inadequate budget. But have we forgotten something here?

Did not the Bruce Golding, then Leader of the Opposition in 2006, come to the University of the West Indies and in the process of re-launching the G2K (Generation 2000) in 2006, admonish the students of the University to keep a close eye on the exploration of oil in Jamaica waters as stated in the article “Golding urges students to look into oil prospects”, published Friday February 23, 2007, The Daily Gleaner?

It seems that Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining, may not have factored the possible discovery of oil into his Energy Policy, as it pushed the agenda of Renewable Energy both biofuels as well as Electricity Generation via Renewable means and licenses, but fails to adequately address oil exploitation prospects and most importantly, what is to be done with the oil once it is discovered.

Yet Mr. Golding stated that if oil were to be discovered, that the revenue derived from the sale of the oil on the international market should be placed in an oil reserve fund, much as it is done in Trinidad and Tobago. I remember this, as I was a student of the University of the West Indies at the time and was present when his ominous call was echoed to the students, who he exhorted by saying “I am going to challenge you [students] to watch this oil exploration.

We are going to be insisting on it that if it is confirmed that Jamaica has commercial quantities of oil within our territorial waters, we are going to want the benefits of that oil managed in such a way to secure Jamaica's economic future."

So yet another set of words spoken in haste in the past and not followed through once Bruce Golding came to power, as this vigilance as it relates to the discovery of oil of the South Coast by the Australian Team Finder as well as other oil exploration interests off our territorial waters is not reflected in Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining Energy Policy.

And now worse, we again as Jamaicans aloof little capybaras, looking on with bleary eyes as we contend with our food in our claws and not much minding the news, save that this is yet another drama unfolding before eyes, further proof that all these years under the previous Government Administrations, we were being severely mismanaged and robbed by our supposedly trusted Public Servants in these high lofty positions. But this hurts so, as oil and its discovery could really be the answer to the country's economic woes if managed properly.

It is hoped that a thorough investigation will be done by the Government of Jamaica, lest it also be discovered that we had indeed discovered oil – and we were not told about it, as like most Jamaicans, I have lost faith in the leadership of many of the heads of these Public Sector bodies as more of these scandals are unearthed as the years of anaemic growth roll on. 

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