WE felt very pleased when His Highness the Prime Minister reached an agreement concerning government formation with a group of sixteen MPs in the December 5 National Assembly even though some appointments will be made based on the desire of some of these MP brothers.
We were also pleased with the appointment of some citizens to the rank of a minister, even though they have passed four years under that degree since their last appointment. Some of them are competing with the long life of the Sphinx, and others are competing with the American gangster “Al Capone” of the 1930s in terms of illegally benefiting from our money and the money of future generations.
We are greatly worried because it has become clear that the current rational government and many members of the December 5, 2020 Assembly are ignorant of the country’s economic situation in the coming days and years. Based on their thinking, experience and knowledge, they are completely unaware of the terrible consequences.
I was shaken by the report on Kuwait that was recently issued by the global economic agency “Fitch”, which stated, “We confirm the sovereign rating of Kuwait to be at the AA rank with a change in outlook from stable to negative.”
Therefore, I think that the priority at all levels should focus on the future economic aspect, which is likely to perish because of the recent government-Parliament actions that are based on the principle of “spend what is in the pocket, and what is in the unseen will come to you”.
Tell me the reason behind this suspicious silence and unjustified behavior of the oil leaders in wasting public funds, while the concerned authorities – executive and legislative – have not taken any action against any of those leaders of the oil sector?
To be more precise, there is news everyday about the unjustified overspending by those leaders, topped by the leaders of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation from the top-level officials to the junior officials.
There are frequent reports about upcoming struggles over employment. Whoever pays is appointed. Oil leaders are appointing their relatives on contracts. Employment of companies, salaries and privileges have raised the cost of production several times. Mafia extorts Kuwaiti youth to pay money for employment.
Reducing production costs is necessary in light of the collapse of oil prices and the budget deficit. The higher-paid employees of the oil companies, most of whom are the least productive, hold qualifications that do not meet the conditions of the employment contracts. The intermediary conflict between leaders has destroyed several projects (source: Al-Shahid daily, January 11, 2021 edition).
On February 3, Al-Qabas daily published reports stating that the work in 24 drilling rigs have stopped for eight months, causing a loss of $2 billion in the production of Kuwait’s oil in a tender by direct order worth $1 billion. The reports talked about the decline of the Kuwait Oil Company’s production by 180,000 barrels per day for eight months since last April.
Therefore, problems ceaselessly continue in the oil sector because the one who runs the sector thinks that he is financing the general budget with money, so he only gave himself the right to deduct as he pleases and based on his mood because no one has stopped him from doing that.
The same applies to those who are employed with the rank of a minister. It is also done with government leaders with the rank of undersecretary and below who were appointed by nepotism and not based on efficiency. We see that there is a dire need to send home most of the current leaders of the oil sector as soon as possible.
Removing all losers and spoilers of public funds from the sector that is responsible for Kuwait’s only financial source must be given absolute priority. Money is our soul that must survive, that is if our Parliament and government leaders have sense and a good conscience like the fathers of this society had in order to do what must be done for our children and grandchildren.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil