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Guyana: Coalition govt will use oil resources wisely

AG tells Washington Times PPP took care of family, friends and cronies

The long-impoverished South American nation is striking it rich as Exxon Mobil taps new off-shore oil wells that analysts say could turn Guyana into the world’s No. 1 per capita oil power in five years.

But the massive revenue surge brings with it risks that the tiny country may fall victim to the dreaded “resource curse” that has bedeviled other resource-rich countries in the past. The Guyanese need only look across the border at the cautionary tale provided by Venezuela. Whether Guyana, where 1 in 3 live in poverty, becomes the next Norway or goes the way of Venezuela “will depend on who has custody of the distribution of the new oil and gas wealth,” said the nation’s attorney general, Basil Williams.

On a visit to Washington last week to tout the country’s anti-corruption and social development programmes, Mr. Williams argued Guyanese President David Granger is well aware of the dangers that could undermine the nation’s transformation. Since coming to power four years ago, the Granger administration has “embarked on a very strong anti-corruption drive,” Mr. Williams told The Washington Times. “When we took over, we inherited massive corruption.”

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