Govt putting Guyanese first with new oil and gas legislations
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government will be moving ahead with legislations in the 12th Parliament that will see Guyanese benefitting holistically from the oil and gas sector.
Honoring a promise outlined in its manifesto and a subject championed on the 2020 campaign trail, the new government said every Guyanese must share in the prosperity of the oil and gas sector.
Vice President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Hon Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on Thursday that his government will be drafting legislations that will bring local content to the fore.
Appearing on Kaieteur News Radio, Dr. Jagdeo said the passage of such legislations will force oil companies to ensure that the issues most pressing to the business community and ordinary people are frontally addressed
“We believe that enough has not been done to allow Guyanese to benefit from the developments taking place, and that would be one of the areas that we plan to negotiate with the company very soon. But it’s not just a negotiation, there will be consultation with the public and working groups. Once we have come up with positions that will ensure that our people are treated in an equal manner,” Dr. Jagdeo noted.
He continued “If you are a subcontractor, for example, Trinidadian for Exxon Mobil, you get duty free concession. They can now use that duty-free concession and bid on other projects. They have an advantage over a Guyanese who may want to build a warehouse, but never got duty free concessions. That has to change,” He determined.
The Vice President said the Government has already made it clear during an engagement with Exxon Mobil, that local content is not just for that company alone. he said they will also have a responsibility to ensure that their Sub Contractors also rigidly observe the legislations in relation to local content.
“There are many jobs that can be done by Guyanese companies that are subcontracted to foreign companies. We know that at this point in time, Guyanese cannot build an FPSO, but they can definitely provide a whole range of services contracted out to foreign companies. That has to change,” Dr. Jagdeo reiterated.
With the absence of legislations in this regard, the Vice President said there are no laws governing local content“There has not been any interest on the part of the previous government to do the audit or hold the company accountable in terms of definition. Once you have legislation, you have to put in place, the means of enforcing the legislation and that is why we need a capability in government that would ensure that every provision of the contracts going forward is observed by the companies involved,” the Vice President relayed.