Stakeholders engaged on licensing requirements under Local Content Act

Stakeholders in the petroleum sector on Tuesday, participated in a consultation on the implementation of the Local Content Law- Reporting Requirements and Obligations at the Duke Lodge, Kingston, Georgetown.

The sensitisation workshop, which was facilitated by the Local Content Secretariat, was aimed at engaging contractors and sub-contractors on licencing requirements under the historic Local Content Act.

Minister of Natural Resources Minister, Hon. Vickram Bharrat, M.P addressing participants at the sensitization workshop.

Delivering remarks, Minister of Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat, M.P, reminded the participants that the Local Content Legislation paves the way to ensure Guyanese gain equal opportunities, and access in oil and gas industry, and to ensure maximum benefits for local businesses.

The minister dispelled the notion that the legislation was enacted to create hindrances for foreign investors to invest in Guyana.

“I am sure you would understand that as a government why we took this position because it is only fair that Guyanese are gainfully employed in the oil and gas sector, they are trained and certified to work in the oil and gas sector, that they are given the opportunity to provide goods and services to the operators, licencees, contractors and sub-contractors,” he reaffirmed.

A section of those who participated in the workshop

The Local Content Act outlines 40 different services that oil and gas companies and their subcontractors must procure from Guyanese companies by the end of 2022. For instance, these companies must procure from Guyanese companies, 90 per cent of office space rental and accommodation services; 90 per cent janitorial services, laundry and catering services; 95 per cent pest control services; 100 per cent local insurance services; 75 per cent local supply of food; and 90 per cent local accounting services. These are just a few of the services highlighted in the first schedule in the Local Content Act.

Minister Bharrat explained that prior to the crafting of the Bill, the government conducted extensive consultations with stakeholders from a wide cross- section of society, to ascertain the local capacity.

He said that provisions were made for the schedule to be changed by way of an order, however, there is a need to upskill and reskill the local workforce. To this end, the government has announced the establishment of a national training institute at Port Mourant, Region Six to provide training in the oil and gas, and hospitality sector.

Some of the stakeholders who participated in the workshop

“We know that we have been getting investments coming in from foreign investors. We know that local companies too, are investing on the oil and gas sector so by the end of the year we will do a reassessment of our capacity, and that will guide us as to how we move forward with the schedule and with the 40 services we have listed in the legislation.”

The Natural Resource Fund (Amendment) Act 2021 was passed in the National Assembly in December 2021.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Joslyn McKenzie, senior technical officers from the Local Content Secretariat and the Petroleum Management Unit were also present at the event.