Guyanese are being encouraged to push back against foreigners who are coming to Guyana to take away employment and procurement opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
The charge came from Trinidadian Consultant, Anthony Paul during a Local Content Stakeholder Engagement at the Guyana Marriott on Wednesday.
Paul was hired by the Government of Guyana to assist in the drafting of a local content policy which is intended to ensure that oil and gas resources are converted to sustainable development while providing employment and business opportunities for locals in the sector.
The Consultant believes that the policy, once finalized, will ensure that Guyanese participate at all stages, including drilling and engineering, in a manner that is fair and even preferentially.
With over 30 years of experience in the sector, Paul said stakeholders must never forget that the resource has the potential to destroy communities and good governance. It is for this reason that the policy is needed in which guidelines and principles will be established.
He said the policy will no doubt allow for companies to hire locals and procure goods and services locally while also allowing for the transfer of knowledge and technology from foreign companies to locals.
To ensure full implementation of the policy, Mr. Paul has recommended that stakeholders demand supply information, build capacity and ensure that they are a position to respond to employment and procurement requests.
He said at all stages, Guyanese should be given the first preference and also be allowed to extend its competencies to be able to benefit from job and business opportunities if not at the beginning stages, definitely in the future.
While pledging to work with the political opposition, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said since the major discovery in May 2015, the government has been working to develop the industry so that it can be of benefit to all Guyanese through the development of several frameworks on how the sector should develop.
“We have to have one plan, not 50 plans,” he noted. Minister Trotman said the policy deals directly with ensuring that Guyanese are positioned to benefit from the proceeds of oil and said there are other frameworks in place to address corruption.
Over the next two months, the Ministry will be visiting regions and will be meeting with stakeholders to ensure that the policy is truly national.
Minister Trotman is also hopeful; that this policy will not only be for petroleum but will also become a national model for local content in other sectors. (by Kurt Campbell)