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Feb 9, 2011

P.M. defends drilling concession to nephew

The Prime Minister was drilled on a number of issues, including the recent oil exploration concession given to his nephew Kimano Barrow.  Environmentalists have sounded the alarm about Kimano’s lack of knowhow in the oil industry and are concerned that there was no bidding process for the concession issued in the large parcel of land that covers national parks. The P.M. defended the concession and indicated that there were no special favors done for his nephew. He said that the bidding process can be bypassed and that the concession can be approved by Cabinet.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I do not accept that Mister Cho would feel that there is some presumption in favor of giving a contract because somebody with my family name is a shareholder in the applicant company; that’s number one. Number 2, Mister Cho apart, anybody in cabinet or in the government who knows me will know that somebody making an application for permit with my family name if it is left to be would be under an impediment rather than the beneficiary of an advantage because I make it absolutely clear that I will not have my name, my integrity, besmirched in anyway. The locals in the company no doubt have partnered with foreigners so to say that these locals don’t have the financing or the expertise, man doesn’t make sense. Nobody in this country has the expertise. My nephew is a shareholder, the minister, Mister Cho, anybody in the petroleum department will tell you, not one day did ever call the minister, or any of his officials to say you know what, there is an application for P.S.A. that a family member of mine is involved in. I don’t do that sort of thing and not a soul in this room can ever suggest that I do because if they didn’t they’ll be lying. I no play! [applause] I had no knowledge of that company approaching the ministry. The ministry dealt with that on an arm’s length basis.  When the minister brought it to cabinet he said, “Well you know, the experts, the technical people, Mister Cho in particular; had advised him to approve the application because it was in an area where nobody else wanted.”

Jules Vasquez, Channel 7

“Was any, on the A point under that, the fourteen conservation areas within that block, seven core conservation areas, was any thought…”

Dean Barrow

“I don’t know. That you would have to ask the minister and Mister Cho. When the matter came to cabinet nobody was told this is an area that had, what you called it, fourteen conservation areas. I was not aware; in fact i am just being made aware of that today. Obviously that fact must have been taken well on board by Mister Cho and the minister. Cabinet wasn’t, as I said, treated to that information, but Cabinet had a right to assume as I’m sure it did, that all the factors in the mix were properly taken into account, properly analyzed, properly assessed, properly scrutinized by the experts at the petroleum department. Nobody else wanted it. Paradise applied, obviously was able to convince the minister and his experts that they had the wherewithal to make a go of this thing in terms of the exploration process. He brought it to cabinet, cabinet approved it, end of story; there is not a damned thing—it was made public because the cabinet press release went out—there is not a damn thing wrong with that process. And that is a position by which I stand.”

Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez

“Fair enough.”

Dean Barrow

“Thank you. You’re kind. You’re kind.”

Jose Sanchez

“I think the question does need to be answered at this point is that they are all questioning whether or not cabinet should have not looseness, but the leeway to continue in that. But that was the concern of environmentalists.”

Dean Barrow

“Well as I say Jose, if Misses Matura Shepherd and the others want to lobby for some change in the law they are free to do so man. Hasn’t this government shown that it is perfectly prepared to take people’s views on board? At first blush, there would be something impractical about requiring this bidding process for every single concession that government were to award, but let us talk about it. If we can be convinced that that is the way it ought to be, then we change the legislation.”

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6 Responses for “P.M. defends drilling concession to nephew”

  1. rod says:

    every time this pm is questioned about something in the country he knows nothing about it well if he would bother to spend some time in the country maybe he would please stop embarrasing yourself and us belizeans we work too hard for this to continue please resign barrow resign .

  2. Lindsay Howard says:

    If Geology didn’t make the Cabinet aware of the 14 protected areas, then people need to be fired.

  3. Justice says:

    The PM has a name, I agree. Integrity, I am searching to substantiate that. So far nil reports coming up but nevertheless I am still searching.. there is unlimited space so maybe…..
    Come on PM you think anyone would be foolish enough to say you told them to do so? Too many unexplained things happen in Belize so do not even go there. State something else. Just be honest, it is your family and you want a dynasty, we know you know so speak the truth and shame the devil.Will you be called Belize’s papa Doc?

  4. Blind Eye Jamesie says:

    Even me ku si di man de lie, Jules betta mine he boycott channel 7 now!!!!!

  5. MyLegacyB4myPeople says:

    You bet your sweet A_ _ that is the way it ought to be, ministers discretion to override laws, what a crack a sheet but we like it like that, this way we get to do the things the way that we want to do them and damn the laws and the people after all we are the masters and should have the last word on everything in Belize how else will we be able to multiply our wealth with all these laws in the way laws are for commoners. Remember My Legacy B 4 My People.

  6. browncayogal says:

    Belizeans, wake up!!!!….change can happen, look at Egypt….!

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