Framework in place to protect Guyanese workers and companies in oil and gas sector -AG Nandlall assures

Framework in place to protect Guyanese workers and companies in oil and gas sector -AG Nandlall assures

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, believes that the Government has set the framework in place to provide the necessary protection for Guyanese workers and companies in the oil and gas sector.

Delivering a presentation at the 2nd Local Content Summit, the Attorney General said the policy of the government has always been to put Guyanese first, hence the passage of the Local content law.

“We have no apologies for saying that our priority is to ensure that Guyanese dominate the sector, that is why we have a law call the Local content law because that is the ultimate objective,” the AG stated.

According to Mr. Nandlall, one of the ways that the government is trying to avoid the resource curse  is to protect Guyanese investments and employment in the sector.

“Many countries have used policies, not law, we felt that that the policies would have been ineffective, we needed the strongest institutional instrument to ensure that the Guyanese workforce would be protected and would be offered and reasonable opportunity to participate in the sector,” the Attorney General said.

The Attorney General noted that although the government has faced pushbacks in introducing the Local Content law, it was clear in its vision that it wanted Guyanese in particular to benefit from the sector and therefore went ahead with the legislation.

As it relates to Guyanese companies, the Attorney General noted that similar protections are also being afforded to companies, but he warned that some foreign companies that do not meet the requirements under the law, are putting Guyanese as “fronts” for them, which is illegal.

“Not only you must own it effectively, in terms of shares and voting and you must actually be management it. 75% of the executives and senior management must be Guyanese and 90% of the non-managerial and other positions. This is a fairly rigid framework and set of criteria that you have to satisfy,” the AG noted.

Despite the Act being in place, Mr. Nandlall pointed out that in most instances, the local skill set does not meet the demand of the industry and therefore companies are forced to use outside workers or service providers.

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