Local content app to be introduced this year – Director

The government, through its Local Content Secretariat, is developing a local content app which is expected to come onstream this year with the aim of better connecting local companies with the oil and gas sector, and enhancing job access.

Director of the Local Content Secretariat, Martin Pertab gave the update during a workshop on the final day of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, which is held under the theme “Fuelling Transformation and Modernisation” at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston Georgetown.

Director of the Local Content Secretariat, Dr Martin Pertab

“We will introduce the local content app. We have already started. Work is ongoing, and hopefully, by the end of the third quarter we should have an app which connects local suppliers with oil and gas companies,” he said.

Pertab noted that many times locals would have difficulties accessing information about the available opportunities in the oil and gas sector. As a result, many of these persons miss out on critical employment avenues.  

This, Pertab underscored, is one of the issues that the app will centrally address.

“We have received over the past years a lot of complaints whereby locals will say that they are not seeing the RFIs. The issue with the 14 days is that most times locals would see the RFI on the last day. For them to get the documents up and participate, is difficult. Most companies would advertise on our portal, but I don’t think the raffic we are receiving indicates that a lot of locals are visiting our portals” he explained.  

The app is another important element of the secretariat’s drive to prioritising Guyanese nationals and companies to enable local capacity development. 

The Local Content Registry, which was operationalised in 2022, is a portal through which Guyanese nationals seeking employment and Guyanese companies from which goods and services can be procured. The creation of the local content app would greatly complement the functions of this portal.

Enacted in 2021, the Local Content Act was designed to ensure the oil and gas industry supports an economy where small and medium-sized businesses, and individuals can grow and benefit.

The act has led to the employment of more than 6000 locals in the industry and lays out 40 areas in the services sector that oil and gas companies and their subcontractors must procure locally.

The Local Content Secretariat is already actively pursuing a range of measures to connect locals to oil and gas opportunities, and this year, emphasis will be placed on awareness sessions to reach a larger pool of Guyanese.

Nationwide sensitisation workshops on the Local Content Legislation have begun.

These are aimed at educating individuals on how they can benefit directly from the oil and gas sector while assessing the country’s capacity to supply goods and services to the petroleum industry.

“This is also for the major stakeholders, which include the NGOs and even the oil and gas companies. We intend to meet with them to discuss not only the local content act but for us to better understand the impact of the act on businesses in Guyana,” the director added.  

Pertab also highlighted several key achievements of the Secretariat in 2023, as part of this aim. 

He said that approximately US$560 million was expended for local services under the local content law, representing a 25 per cent increase when compared to 2022, with some 975 new jobs being created.