Oil has been discovered in Jamaica, well oil seeps to be specific. The discovery was made in Trelawny by CGG GeoConsulting, a foreign company that works with PetroJam. Normally finding oil is good news but not for Jamaica. In my opinion, this discovery should be greeted with caution and not celebration.
oil is a blessing and a curse
Oil destroyed Nigeria’s environment
Oil discovery is only great for countries that have their acts together. It’s like a firearm, in the right hands it can be used to save lives but give it to the wrong person and watch how much destruction happens afterwards. If you live in a country that has a long history of stability, transparency and accountability then an oil discovery is always good news. In Jamaica, those three things are as elusive as a billy goat trying to escape the soup pot.
Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world and we all saw how they turned out. Venezuela and Libya(after Gaddafi was removed) are all examples of what happens when incompetent and corrupt people get their hands on black gold. This could be Jamaica’s destiny and based on past and present signals, this is not hard to imagine.
a fool and his wealth will soon part
You probably heard that people with money make more money, this is false. Smart people, discipline people, people with vision make money grow, give a fool some money and watch how he/she blows it faster than a hurricane. The same applies to countries and their leadership. The reason why countries like Norway, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar can be so prosperous from oil is that they know how to manage it and not let it manage them.
You probably saw all those tall skyscrapers in Dubai and might be fooled into thinking that’s how Jamaica will look now that we have discovered oil. Countries like Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia are so well off from oil that they do not collect income tax from its citizens. If you think the Jamaican government is going to stop pressure your salary with taxes, forget it. Not gonna happen oil or no oil.
murder and crime will increase
Every get rich quick industry in Jamaica is usually followed by bloodshed. You think a cash cow like oil can operate without people dying like flies? look how much people lost their lives over small time petty contracts for road construction and street sweeping. Ask inner city people what happens when the money for roadworks is to be shared out, they will tell you guns start to sing like Whitney Houston before the crack.
Oil in Jamaica will show us that political tribalism and skullduggery is still rampant in Jamaica. Politicians will give contracts to their friends/family/supporters and the ones who did not get to “eat a food” will respond accordingly. You can call me a cynic or naysayer but if you wellwishers had faced reality instead of “hoping for the best”, Jamaica would be better off today.
Jamaican politicians steal lightbulbs, imagine oil
Remember when the ‘Wanga Gut’ politicians were given “free” light bulbs and they sold them and “eat a food”. Can you imagine what they would do with oil in Jamaica? they must be rubbing their hands right now as it is surely scratching them. If this oil discovery is large enough to be worth extracting, it will be a lotto win for the bigger heads at the top of the food chain.
poor and middle-class people will be left behind as usual
If you are connected to certain people and have big links, go ahead and celebrate the oil discovery in Jamaica. Your bread shall be buttered on both sides, even the crust will be buttered. To everybody else, cut your eye pass this oil discovery because you will not benefit from it. Don’t get me wrong, election time there will be the usual handouts and “free” things that are offered to you for your vote. But in terms of true wealth, that will empower the lower classes in this country, forget it.
oil might kill the golden goose that is already laying the eggs
Jamaica attracts people from all the world because of her natural beauty. Tourism is still the cash cow and we should not let oil distract us from this. I fear that this oil discovery might trigger a ‘black gold rush’ all over the country. Next thing you know, the whole country start to get torn up looking for this magical product that is supposedly going to get rid of our economic problems.
careless oil extraction destroys the environment
We are short-sighted enough to destroy natural resources looking for natural resources. Somewhere like Mineral Bath or Blue Hole will be destroyed in a second if there is even a hint of oil under them. Only to discover that the amount of oil that is discovered is not even worth being excavated. The foreigners who are ‘helping’ to look for oil will just pack up and move to another country and we will be right back to square one. Think it can’t happen?
everybody can’t be hopeful and optimistic
Scarface said it best “You need people like me”. You need a cynic, you need Kijana Waasi to stand off and watch from a distance. Everybody cannot ‘run een’ at the same time, I will hang back and observe while Jamaian oil leads to increased corruption, sorry I mean “growth and prosperity”. Jamaicans love to brag about being prayer warriors, we have lots of them so you don’t need another one. I am watching this development with a telescope, I need to stand upright to look through it. I hope the prayer and hoping works though as cynic or no cynic, Jamaica’s security and prosperity is what we want to see.
This could be us