The little football maestro Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini remains the quintessential superstar of the modern game. In terms of technical skills and raw natural ability, Messi has no equal. Deft touches, dribbles, passes, assists goals, titles and accolades, Messi has been the most complete player of his generation, but only for his club, Barcelona. Messi’s legacy as an all-time great of the game remains under a cloud because of the inexplicable disparity in the quality of his club performances and achievements compared to his international performances and achievements. In 13 years as a senior Barcelona player, Messi has won nine LaLiga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, three FIFA Club World Club titles, three UEFA Super Cup titles, and countless other domestic silverware. Based on his unstoppable individual brilliance and goal-scoring prowess, Messi was voted FIFA Ballon d’Or winner (best player in the world award) on five occasions. Apart from his formal awards, it remains the clear consensus across the international football fraternity that Lionel Messi has been the best player in the world for the past decade. As brilliantly conspicuous as his club career has been, though, Messi has conversely been an abysmal flop at the international level, where in over a decade as a full senior international, Messi has failed to win a single title with an Argentina team that is consistently ranked in the world’s top five. Two Copa America finals and now playing in his fourth FIFA World Cup finals and Messi has fizzed, flopped and failed to win on each occasion. He was an 18-year-old youngster coming off the bench in his first World Cup in 2006. He flattered to deceive for the first time in 2010 as Argentina got clobbered and illuminated 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-final. Messi went back to his club and continued his marauding and imperious dominance, scoring goals, winning titles, and generally enhancing his reputation as the best player on the planet. The World Cup finals in 2014 were set for Messi’s home continent of South America and represented the perfect stage for the little master to cement his legacy as one of, if not the greatest player of all time. Messi led from the front as Argentina got through the first round comfortably and eventually clawed their way into the final to face Germany. Again, Messi went passively and eventually invisibly, failing to grasp the moment as Mario Gotze’s extra-time strike handed Germany the title. This was the World Cup that Messi should have won. Instead, it signalled the beginning of the process of true greatness eluding the little Argentine. It could not be the fault of his teammates when the greatest offensive genius of the modern game spends 120 minutes in a World Cup final and fails so miserably to make an impression while his team sinks to defeat. Add similar disappearing acts in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals, and you get the making of a ‘club bully’, with now a clear pattern of failure at the international level. Russia 2018 is supposed to be the redemption tournament for Lionel Messi – his last realistic chance to get the proverbial monkey off his back. Again, it is not happening. The monkey has taken an even firmer grip as Argentina, with merely one point from their first two games, flirt with an embarrassing first-round exit from the World Cup. Messi has been awfully ineffective, nervous, and timid in the moments when Argentina need him most. Certainly not the stuff of which greatness is made. With news emerging of rifts and tension in the Argentina camp, and with Messi’s nemesis and main rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, setting the tournament alight with four goals in his first two games, the signs are clear that Messi’s World Cup charge, along with his legacy, are once again falling apart. The man born with arguably the most natural football talent is failing to do complete justice to that talent. Despite being so much better than all his peers, Lionel Messi continues to flop on the biggest stage as true greatness continues to elude him. The saving grace for Messi is that he and Argentina are still in with a mathematical chance of getting it done and salvaging his legacy, but I would not bet a dollar on that happening.
Exchange Minister of Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says she wants to fast-track the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the area of sport between the governments of Jamaica and Chile. Both governments signed a Declaration of Intent on Saturday, to develop a programme of activities during the next 12 months towards finalising an MOU for sports cooperation. The signing of the Declaration of Intent followed bilateral discussions led by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness and the President of Chile, His Excellency Sebastian Pinera, in Montego Bay, St James. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. signed on behalf of Jamaica while the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Alfonso Silva signed on behalf of Chile. Under the programme, it is envisaged that “Chile will send their coaches to Jamaica for training, particularly in track and field, and we will send our coaches to Chile for training in gymnastics, table tennis and field hockey,” said Minister Grange. She explained that the process of developing the MOU requires, among other things, consultation “with the local sports organisations here to ensure that what we are including in the MOU is workable.” The process also includes consultations with the Ministry of Finance and Public Service as well as with the Attorney General’s Chamber. Grange said the signing of the Declaration of Intent signals a willingness to expedite the process as Chile “are particularly keen in getting our support, and our assistance, so that their athletes can be ready for (the PanAm Games in) 2023. The President was very clear, very specific. The Minister of Sports made contact with me and she also was very clear that they’re anxious to get the programme going.” Grange said that Jamaica was also keen on technical cooperation with Chile in sport infrastructure development. “They have an impressive facility; over 10 disciplines are taught there. We want to go and look at it, and to see how we can get technical assistance and advice.”
A fantastic job Most of us are focused on the FIFA World Cup; by tomorrow we will know the 2018 champions. While the World Cup draws to an end, today marks the start of the inaugural two-day Athletics World Cup in London, and of course the stage will be set for Jamaica’s athletes to perform. However, I want to focus on a coach, and the contribution he has made over the past decade and a half. Throws coach Julian Robinson deserves all the accolades that are coming his way. Currently, Robinson has proven to Jamaica and the world that you can train Jamaican student-athletes, locally, using a locally-based coach to be world beaters in discus, shot put, javelin etc. That is what he has done with Traves Smikle and Fedrick Dacres especially in a discipline that is usually dominated by Europeans. The Calabar High School and University of the West Indies alumnus has racked up quite a reputation for creating champions over the course of his coaching career. He is an IAAF Level 5 and USATF Level 3 certified coach, and currently holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Mathematics and Electronics; and a Master’s degree in Digital Technology. Over the years, he has coached several athletes to become champions and record holders at various levels. At the junior level, he has been successful in helping his charges win at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships, CARIFTA Games, IAAF World Juniors and World Youth. These include Noel Facey, Ashinia Miller, Chad Wright, Traves Smikle, Fedrick Dacres, Basil Bingham, among others. At the senior level, he has had successes at NACAC, Central American and Caribbean Games and Commonwealth Games, with Smikle and Dacres developing into his two main seniors competing at London Olympics and World Championship respectively. Smikle is a former national champion and record holder while Dacres currently holds both of those titles. Robinson has done a fantastic job in an environment where it’s difficult to find throwing circles, much less proper throwing implements and footwear for youngsters. I commend him for the dedication and commitment shown to not just Calabar but also to the national programme. While he was not the personal coach of some athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, I was impressed with the work he did, providing advice to other field event athletes such as Danielle Thomas-Dodd on route to her record-breaking performance. Robinson, who started coaching in the 2005/2006 season after completing academic studies, says he just wanted to give back to his alma mater, Calabar and asked to volunteer. He never dreamed he would reach this level at this point, as his efforts were to gradually improve the school’s throwing programme which then transitioned into improving the national programme. If you ever talk to him, you cannot help but notice his love for his athletes; him wanting them to get an education, as well as encouraging them to believe in themselves. The husband and father of two is passionate about his work and believes that the next stars can come from people like Isheka Binns, Basil Bingham and Kai Chang who have been working with him. Robinson’s hope is that he can use sports and education to help his athletes gain a better life for themselves and their families. One would think at least one of them is on his way. Dacres currently leads the discus Diamond League series, being a force to be reckoned with in all his competitions so far; and this is after capturing the Commonwealth Gold medal in a new games record of 68.20m. I am sure both Robinson and Dacres are looking for a good performance at the Athletics World Cup and a strong finish to this season. He told me the journey has been a rough one; just a few years ago Smikle had to deal with returning an adverse analytical finding, while Dacres had to bounce back from a surgery due to a serious knee injury. However, Robinson believes in trusting the process. I laud Robinson for the work that he has done and encourage him to continue the good work. Hopefully, we will soon see grooming multiple Olympic and World champions being added to his many accolades. – Dalton Myers is a sports consultant and administrator. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
The decision by the management of the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to export three of their five designated home games to the Central Broward Park in Lauderhill, Florida has understandably been met with disapproval and displeasure by many fans of the Jamaican franchise, especially in a context where the Tallawahs boast one of the best records of consistent fan support for the team since the inception of the CPL. There is no other sporting franchise anywhere in the world that would dare to play the majority of their home games away from their designated home arena, barring extenuating circumstances. Just imagine the New York Knicks deciding that for economic reasons, they are going to play more than half of their home fixtures for the new NBA season away from Madison Square Garden, or the equivalent in football of English Premier League giants Manchester United deciding that for marketing and business reasons, they are going to play 12 of their 19 home games away from Old Trafford. The outbursts of disapproval and anger from the fan bases of those two famous organisations would be loud, clear and fully justified. The reality that a sporting franchise is a business that must make money cannot get lost in the debate. If these dynamics remain and the team management insists on exporting the majority of the home games, then maybe the franchise should be renamed and relocated to Florida, allowing for the emergence of a separate Franchise that will adhere to the basic principles of professional sports franchises. The notion that this move is motivated by poor attendance in Jamaica has been swept aside as false based on the attendance record at Tallawahs games at Sabina Park over the years. If the decision to relocate home games overseas persists into next season, then the message that Jamaican fans don’t count will be fully sent and received. Nothing is wrong, in principle, with playing one or two games in the foreign market for marketing or even straight business purposes. The American National Football League (NFL) has played the odd regular season game in England, while the Spanish LaLiga announced recently the intention to play at least one league game on American soil. The lines were crossed by the Tallawahs when three prime-time games, including weekend games out of five, or 60 per cent of the allocated home games, are being exported, leaving Jamaica with two midweek games out of five. That is downright disrespect and disdain for the Jamaica Tallawahs fans. BASTARD CHILD It is also worth noting that the recent three-game international Twenty20 (T20) series between the Windies and Bangladesh also saw the deciding two games played in Florida after the token first game in St Kitts. The disrespect and disdain, therefore, seem to be permeating general regional cricket officialdom. The covert hypocrisy about this scenario is that the T20 format is the format that the purists and administrators of the game have generally treated like a bastard child. Yet, they have suddenly compromised their principles and beliefs by now seeking to cash in on the bastard child’s appeal while robbing local fans of the opportunity to watch the format of the game that they demonstrably prefer to watch. The hope is that the outcry from the fans, in tandem with the massive turnout at the two token home games, will convince the management of Jamaica Tallawahs, going forward, to rethink their disrespectful position. It would be good if they at least played the majority of the home games at home instead of in a foreign land and stopped using the Jamaica and Tallawahs brands in this unprincipled manner.
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer Vassell Reynolds has been relieved of his position as head coach of Montego Bay United, becoming the first coaching casualty of the 2018/2019 Red Stripe Premier League season. Chairman of Montego United Dr. Germaine Spencer confirmed that the former Rusea’s High School coach had been shown the door Friday. “We agreed to the mutual dissolution of the contract and this was due to a number of factors,” said Dr Spencer. “The culture of MBU is a winning one, a results-oriented one.” MBU last won the RSPL title in 2015 but ended last season in ninth position, the same spot they held at the start of Sunday’s round of matches. Dillon Thelwell, a man who has had previous stints with the club, was appointed as interim coach. Reynolds was naturally disappointed especially after putting in battling performances with a youthful and weakened team. “I was a bit surprised and disappointed that I was not allowed to continue the rebuilding and transition of the club and the reason given – poor results,” Reynolds said. “We were six points away from the top six and seven points away from some teams which had far more resources and deeper squad than us. Based on all the variables it was a fair performance thus far but where we had set our targets, we fell five points short,” added Reynolds who recently stepped away from the job as national Under-20 head coach.
Jamaica’s senior netball team, the Sunshine Girls moved up one spot, and are now ranked number three in the world, following the latest rankings, which were published by the International Federation of Netball Association on Thursday. The latest rankings reflect matches played up until December 2 and now include the Sunshine Series, Canada vs Cayman Islands Test Series, Netball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers in Africa, the Americas and Asia, the autumn Quad Series (between Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand), and the recent England vs Uganda Series. The Sunshine Girls have a 172 rating, the same as number four England, while New Zealand are a point ahead on 173. Australia lead the standings with a 211 rating. A major contributor to Jamaica’s rise would have been their strong performances this year and in particular a 3-0 defeat over England in the Sunshine Series, which also included Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica hammered England 55-43, 58-39, 58-43 in the Sunshine Series, after defeating their great Caribbean sporting rivals Trinidad and Tobago 61-40, 51-40 in the opening stanza of the tri-series. The Jamaicans never stopped there, as they went on to claim the silver medal at the 2018 World Netball Series FastNet Tournament in Melbourne, Australia, where after narrowly losing the final – 34-33 – against New Zealand. Jamaica’s defender, Shameera Sterling, won the Most Valuable Player Award at the tournament. It was the second consecutive World Fastnet Tournament finals loss for the Jamaicans, who went down 34-29 to England at the 2017 event. The Sunshine Girls also placed third at the 2017 Commonwealth Games and third at the World Fastnet Tournament in 2016.
Satiricus was in a ticklish situation. He wasn’t all that excited about the gathering at the Back Street Bar to remember the old departed leader – but the drinks were free. And even more importantly, the drinks were being sponsored by Georgie, who was visiting from New York and would have the latest scoop on their old buddy Cappo, who was illegal in NY.“How long will you fellas keep turning over the ashes of Old man Bhagan?” he teased his buddies. “If he’d been buried, he’d be turning over in his grave!!”“Well, we will remember the Old Man as long as your leader Nagga Man does,” replied Georgie without a pause. “Imagine the man quit the party but he still quoting the Old Man!”“It’s not the man…but the ideas!” quipped Satiricus, as he polished off his beer.“But Nagga Man swear de Ole Man bin a wan Mahatma,” pointed out Bungi. “An’ he a de chela!”“OK fellas, tell me what’s really going on?” Georgie asked as he changed the subject.“Just that Cappo cut the right card when he decided to stay over in NY on his tourist visa,” said Hari. “I hear the man already bought a car!”“Yeah!” said Bungi sourly. “Imagine me and he wuk fifteen year and abee na bin able fuh buy wan bicycle!”“Well, with Trump going after illegals, he’s pretty worried right now,” reported Georgie. “What y’all think? He should come back?”“NO!!” everyone around the table shouted, including Satiricus. Everyone looked at him.“You too, Sato?” asked Georgie. “But you used to tell Cappo everything will improve in sugar now that Nagga Man and Rum Jhaat in power.”“Well,” said Satiricus slowly with a sheepish smile. “You know it’s like what the Old Man used to say about he and the British?”“What?” asked everyone.“Nagga and Rum Jhaat in office, but not in power!” said Satiricus as he signalled for another round of beers.
…on elections riggingIt looks like folks are finally listening to your (barefoot) Eyewitness crying in the wilderness (so it seemed!) about the ground being laid for first delaying, and then rigging if necessary, the scheduled 2020 general elections. As he’d explained, the two-year delay – like the one from 1990 to 1992 – will ensure oil is flowing by then, and (hopefully) the good times are rolling.If, in fact, the latter scenario plays out, there will be no need to rig – whether with a scalpel or a sledge hammer. But crucial to everything is to drag out the elections. And as a Government filled with military types, they aren’t just rolling out a single plan. There are plans A, B, C and the entire alphabet drafted to handle all possible contingencies.In play right now is the “delay option” through foot dragging and digging in of heels on the GECOM Chairman. Apart from the mice playing with (and eating out) the cheese while the cat’s away, if a chairman isn’t found by 2020, then there will be no legitimised elections. Delaying the elections then becomes the ONLY option feasible, no?But we just heard about another delay option…which sounds even more convincing to your Eyewitness. It’s so good it could even be Option A. This is the “need for constitutional change” option. The international community – A,B,C,D and the whole alphabet soup of countries – has pronounced on the need for constitutional change. Seminars have been held. (Pliable) front groups have been formed to push the (fine) point. The Government insists it “believes” in constitutional change.The PM Minister’s even been allocated million dollars for countrywide “consultations” on the subject – after a high-powered group held a year of hearings and came up with a raft (or a canoe) of proposals. A hint about this new “delay option” came when Pressie dismissed those proposals as being gathered behind four walls! He – a man who launches CoIs sitting within four walls at the drop of a beret – insisted the entire country must be canvassed! Presumably in open spaces. Hence the million. But nothing’s been done since by the PM, and even though he’s no Speedy Gonzalez, the delay is ominous.So, at a high-powered gathering, the ex-chair of the AFC (who just happens to be the fella who led the “four walls” constitutional initiative) opined there ain’t no way consultations would be completed by 2020. His successor as AFC Chair, who just happens to be the Public Security Minister, stoutly asserted there ain’t no way he’s going to ALLOW any delays on elections.Really?? And exactly how will this be done? Holding his breath??…on tradeYour Eyewitness has been following the emanations from the Business Summit sponsored by our Private Sector. Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, for instance, was on the critical panel on trade. Incidentally, this fella Greenidge takes his designation much too literally. Being a “Foreign” Minister doesn’t mean he has to be “foreign” all the time!! Or is it he and Pressie can’t be in the same hole at the same time??!!Anyhow, Greenidge moaned about us not breaking out of the traditional EIGHT primary products (he expanded on Pressie’s “six curses”) and wondered when our Private Sector would get its act together. But hold it! What about that Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) he negotiated on behalf of CariCom with Europe? Wasn’t this supposed to ensure “value added” gets shipped to Europe?Jagdeo was upset with the deal, but Greenidge said “not to worry”!! Yeah right!!Incidentally, whatever happened to the big bucks that came via “Aid for Trade” to help the Private Sector add value??…on Police Top BrassIf one CoI’s delivering results, it’s the one into the alleged assassination plot against Pressie. The recommendation is to axe the entire top brass. So, is a sergeant to take over?Cause Ramjattan said, unlike TT, Guyana’s not looking foreign.
Guyana’s financial environment is in crisis, and this is surely a reflection that the economy is still spiralling downwards. In 2015, as APNU+AFC took control of the reins of Government, Guyana was one of the most, if not the most, stable economy in CARICOM and in the region of the Americas. Guyana’s economy ranked far above the average for growth in the Americas, according to the World Bank and the IMF, for the decade between 2006 and 2015. What happened in just over three years since May 2015, causing the present financial crisis?APNU/AFC sought to amend the Financial Institution Act (FIA) in Parliament last week, and in the process, the financial environment that exists today in Guyana was exposed. The Speaker, doing his bidding for APNU/AFC, tried desperately to prevent the Opposition from speaking about the financial crisis that prevails in Guyana today. The Opposition’s shadow Finance Minister, youthful Irfaan Ali, provided a frank, pellucid and frightening picture of the financial environment that threatens once again to bring poverty to thousands of families in our country. He calmly, expertly, without any ambiguity, demonstrated that the Guyanese economy is in crisis.All the productive sectors recorded negative growth in the year before: sugar down 36.2 percent; rice, the one sector that is holding up this Government, fell 6.4 percent; forestry declined 29.2 percent; bauxite fell 29 percent. The only reason the GDP held a moribund 2.1 percent growth is because the Government expenditure keeps growing.Increased Government expenditure was driven first by increased taxation of the people by 29 percent from introducing or increasing more than 200 taxes, and by introducing 14 percent VAT on water and electricity. Second, from increasing cost of goods by exempting, rather than zero-rating, VAT on a large number of goods. Third, APNU+AFC increased Government’s borrowing. More than 98 percent of the local loans given out by the banking sector were given to the Government of Guyana, with less than 2 percent of the local loans extended to the local private sector.While the banks remain profitable, their profits have fallen significantly, a frightening proof that the economy has slowed. The Returns on their Equity have deteriorated for all banks in Guyana. Even the Bank of Guyana has not been able to sustain its profitability. The Bank of Guyana’s profits declined 28 percent, from $5.4 billion at the end of 2014 to less than $3.7billion for the year ending May 2018. The Republic Bank’s profits declined from 22 percent to 4.6 percent; GBTI from 19.9 percent to 4 percent; Demerara Bank from 33 percent to 5.5 percent; Citizens Bank from 17 percent to 1.4 percent; and the Bank of Baroda went from an 18.6 percent profit to a loss of 1.6 percent.In fact, the crisis in the financial environment is so severe that deposits in the Bank of Guyana have gone from $21.4 billion in 2014 to negative $54 billion in the year ending May 2018, astoundingly, an almost 300 percent decline. The gold reserves at the Bank of Guyana have similarly declined from $25 billion in 2014 to about $3.2 billion by May 2018, a decline of about 88 percent. The International Reserves at the Bank of Guyana have declined by 30 percent, from about US$700 million (G$140 billion) at the end of 2014 to less than US$485 million (G$97 billion). This situation has arisen because the APNU+AFC Government is borrowing more than it is depositing in the Bank of Guyana. APNU+AFC has also been borrowing more internationally, increasing the foreign debts from US$1.1 billion in 2014 to US$1.6 billion by May 2018, an increase in international borrowing of about 45 percent. Adding salt to the injury, the Minister of Finance claims that such massive borrowing is no problem.The crisis is exemplified by the poor performance in loan repayments. Non-performing loans (failure to pay loans) have increased from $18 billion in May 2015 to $29 billion in the year ending May 2018, an increase in bad loans of 61 percent. The crisis is also underlined by a drop of $32 billion in private consumption for the year ended May 2018. In terms of loans and advances made to the private sector, this has dropped by $8.9 billion in the last year. At the same time, APNU/AFC is taxing people more, increasing its tax collection by 29 percent. APNU+AFC promised a good life for ALL Guyanese. In just over three years, it has wrecked the economy, creating a financial environment in crisis, demanding people be patient and wait for OIL. Fact is, OIL will not rescue us; a change in Government will rescue us.
A few months ago, or thereabouts, commentators had been calling for a revisit of the feasibility of an oil refinery in Guyana amidst the vast oil deposits offshore, wherein Guyana now has in excess of six billion [declared] barrels of recoverable oil reserves. Against this background, the idea of an oil refinery might well be feasible, but the type and model of refinery would be an underlying factor.An international consultant was contracted by the Government of Guyana to conduct a feasibility study in regard to an oil refinery. It was unfortunate, however, that the consultant only considered a conventional oil refinery, which Guyana most obviously cannot afford. That presentation concluded that an oil refinery (a conventional refinery) would not be feasible in Guyana against the backdrop of the capital investment it would require, which was estimated at some US$ 5 billion. Indeed, Guyana cannot afford such an investment, even if the capital were to be mobilised through a public-private partnership; because US$5 billion is greater than Guyana’s GDP, which is merely close to US$ 4 billion, and real GDP is about US$2 billion.That notwithstanding, there are refineries known as “modular refineries” that are far less costly to build. These refineries are usually capable of producing between 5,000 and 30,000 barrels of crude per day. These types of refinery have also experienced a trend in growing demand – largely driven by government initiatives in countries such as Nigeria and Indonesia, for example — to add local refining capacity to offset continued growth of importing finished products for growing consumer demand (UOP, 2017).“In the oil refining business, the cost of inputs (crude oil) and the price of outputs (refined products) are both highly volatile, influenced by global, regional, and local supply and demand changes. Refineries must therefore find the “sweet spot” against a backdrop of changing environmental regulations, changing demand patterns, and increased global competition among refineries in order to be profitable”. (Canadian Fuels Association, 2013).The advantages of the modular refineries include: lower investment costs; sized for lower local demand; modular fabrication offsite for higher quality; shorter schedule; and possibility for future relocation. The disadvantage in comparison to the traditional larger refineries is that these (traditional refineries) have improved economies of scale; can produce a wider variety of refined products; can also be integrated into petrochemical operations; and offer more flexibility (UOP, 2017).In order to determine the viability of a modular refinery with a production capacity of 30,000 bpd, it is prudent to first establish what is the current demand or consumption of refined crude oil products, particularly fuel. In this respect, data for 2014 showed that total imports of refined crude products, inclusive of C.I.F (cost, insurance and freight) values, amounted to US$561.6 million; and in terms of quantity, that is close to five million barrels. Thus Guyana’s average annual consumption is about five million barrels of crude annually, which works out to 13,700 barrels of crude per day.Therefore, a modular refinery with production capacity of 30,000 barrels per day would be able to satisfy Guyana’s local consumption needs of refined crude products, which would also save a hefty import bill of in excess of US$500 million annually; and the excess production can easily be exported to other CARICOM countries.Moreover, it makes more sense for Guyana to consider a modular refinery, given that PETROTRIN in Trinidad & Tobago was recently closed down, which has thus prompted CARICOM countries to have to look for a new supplier of fuel. This, therefore, would be a strategic opportunity that Guyana, becoming the next oil producing country in the region, should position itself to advance these avenues in view of providing a better quality of life for its people.