Comprehensive plan to manage oil wealth necessary

― panellists discuss the necessity for a long-term holistic strategy

DPI, Guyana, Friday, May 10, 2019

At the penultimate session of the Eighth IRF Caribbean Regional Congress (CRC), the topic of the morning – Working together for a better future: Infrastructure in oil and gas economies – consumed the attention of all in attendance at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

The panel discussion was moderated by Legal and Energy Advisor to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Kiran Mattai. The panel comprised of Senior Lecturer, UWI, St. Augustine Dr. Roger Hosein, Professional Engineer, Richard Small, Director of the Department of Energy, Mark Bynoe, Chief Transport Officer, Patrick Thompson and Operation Manager, ExxonMobil, Mike Ryan.

[In the photo, from left to right] Operation Manager, ExxonMobil, Mike Ryan, Senior Lecturer, UWI, St. Augustine Dr. Roger Hosein, Director of the Department of Energy, Mark Bynoe, Professional Engineer, Richard Small, Chief Transport Officer, Patrick Thompson and Legal and Energy Advisor to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Kiran Mattai.

The panellists focused their comments on the need for Guyana to develop a “well-crafted”, comprehensive, systematic and strategic long-term plan to propel the development of the country, in light of its impending wealth. Dr. Hosein related that in Guyana’s approach to development it must include a focus on non-energy exports to reduce creating a dependency on the energy resource.

The panellists contended that while infrastructural development is expected to be a major aspect of the development plan, it is not and cannot be the only sector being considered. They all asserted that while short-term development plans are important, what is needed is a long-term holistic strategy that goes beyond that of the political government terms.

In adding to the discussion on the long-term plan, Dr. Bynoe said that there should be more engagement with the people on the ground. Thompson added that there are many barriers needed to be brought down; an important one is the barrier to education. He said that all such obstacles should be removed. This position is in support of Dr. Hosein’s assessment that by boosting the education levels of the non-producing human capital, the overall production level of the country will increase.

As the day progressed, there were other informative discussions on road safety, maintenance programmes and solutions and road sector leadership.

Onika Bobb..

Images: Ameer Sattaur.

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