Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, on Monday blasted persons he described as “self appointed experts on oil”, over their doom and gloom outlook for the oil industry in Guyana.
Gaskin was at the time speaking at the launching of the American Chamber in Guyana at the Marriott Hotel. He said while Guyanese should not bend their heads in shame of their realities, there should be a more positive outlook to the prospects of economic growth and development.
The Business Minister said he would admit that everything related to the oil sector is not perfect, but he is also satisfied that the Government is doing all that it can to ensure that Guyanese benefit from the proceeds from oil in the future.
Gaskin said Guyana’s economy will experience significant growth over the next decade and beyond, but he appeared taken aback by the “negative rhetoric”, that has found its way into the national conversation on Guyana’s oil future.
“Many are caught up by the negative rhetoric coming from self appointed experts, many of whom are quietly positioning themselves to benefit from the very industry they are maligning and the very project they are maligning. Some of them want to get their first with as little competition as possible and are very happy to see Guyanese disenchanted with the prospects of oil. The reality is that there are still poor and vulnerable people in Guyana and economic growth will create economic opportunities.”
He said the Government intends to invest oil earnings into several areas, but there is a need for persons to look at opportunities and prepare themselves more for the industry.
Guyana is set to see first oil by 2020 and many analysts have predicted that with the expected oil earnings, the country could see its economic growth being tripled within the first five years of oil production.
The Government has found itself facing criticism from some commentators about whether it is adequately prepared for the industry and whether it has all the systems in place to ensure the country truly benefits.