Separate Port Authority on agenda for new maritime board

 – oil and gas unit within MARAD also on the cards
Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill

The new advisory board to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has been tasked to pursue the realisation of an independent Port Authority for Guyana.

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill issued this directive at Thursday’s installation ceremony of the Board of Directors.

The Minister said the Board must advance its discussions to ensure the Port Authority is a separate body, rather than a department within MARAD.

Minister Edghill requested that the advisory Board “immediately begin to engage in putting in place a roadmap for us to be able to get to the realisation of intent of the legislation and ensuring that we have in place the proper governance architecture.”

He said MARAD’s role is more significant now, as the emerging petroleum sector has seen increased activity within Guyana’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This is expected to continue as the Government’s, “robust engagement with international [oil] conglomerates”advances.

Director General of MARAD, Stephen Thomas

To this end, the Board was charged to work towards the establishment of an oil and gas unit within MARAD.

In September, MARAD’s Director-General, Mr. Stephen Thomas told DPI that a separate Port Authority was necessary since the Ports and Harbours Division within MARAD is the operational arm tasked with both management and development of ports and harbours.

This, the Director General said, is not the most effective scenario and that MARAD’s regulatory oversight and operation arms should be clearly distinguished by having a Port Authority.

The maritime advisory board is now being chaired by Ms. Kumarie John.

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