APNU+AFC to decide on nominee to Natural Resource Fund board; defends decision to take up seat

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 March 2022, 14:11 by Denis Chabrol

Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity, Aubrey Norton on Tuesday said the opposition coalition would  Wednesday nominate a representative to sit on the governing board of the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) to hopefully guard the manner in which government would be spending the oil revenues.

The parliamentary committee on appointments is due to meet on Wednesday.

While  the APNU+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) had strenuously objected to government ramming the passage of the new NRF Act through the National Assembly late last December despite calls for consultations, he justified the decision to seek a seat on the Board. “In the circumstance, we have got to ensure we have people there to scrutinise what is happening and in that regard we have agreed that we will nominate people while at the same to protest and signaling that we intend to challenge it in court,” he said.  The coalition maintains that the new NRF Act had not been properly passed by the National Assembly because the Speaker’s Mace had not been in the parliamentary Chamber and the majority of  the government parliamentarians had not been seated when the government put the Bill to the vote for eventual passage.

He said the coalition could not afford to exclude itself from the process and allow the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to engage in corrupt practices involving the oil revenues.  The AFC has already stated that it would prefer to sit on the Board.

Government’s nominees include former senior PNCR supporters Hamley Case and Dunstan Barrow as well as Clement Sealy.

But Mr. Norton said the opposition coalition would have preferred to have the posts of NRF Board members be advertised based on criteria to get the best qualified persons.