“The state of affairs in Guyana regarding local content is becoming overwhelmingly disturbing. It was unfortunate enough that we were dealt a bad hand of cards when government ‘updated’ the ExxonMobil contract. But the fact that real local content in Guyana is almost non-existent; and, the government seems to be accepting this should disturb every Guyanese.”
Those are the words of former Member of Parliament, Charles Ramson.
The Attorney at Law and Oil and Gas Academic is of the opinion that if the Government of Guyana proceeds on its current trajectory, Guyanese will benefit the least from the oil offshore Guyana.
He said this during a recent interview.
The politician said that he consulted with several businessmen who expressed worry over what is happening.
Ramson said that businessmen made him aware of the fact that two Trinidadian owned companies have been awarded big catering contracts, customs brokerage contracts, freight forwarding contracts and even ‘meet and greet’ contracts.
Ramson said that these are some of the most basic goods and services that are required for the oil industry and “companies owned by Guyanese people bid for those contracts but were not awarded.”
The politician said that no one is expecting Guyanese to be given contracts to provide services that they are incapable of doing.
Ramson said that any government that wants to represent the interests of its nationals will find it its duty to advance a serious way forward to ensure that there is local content. He pointed out however that the recently published second draft of the local content policy has the concluding paragraph by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman: “The Local Content Policy (LCP) will be implemented over time and in tandem with the growth of the industry. At present, Regulations will not be promulgated, but may become necessary as the industry unfolds and expands, and impetus is needed to steer the process or to solidify gains.”
Ramson said that while Minister Trotman is not keen on legislation, “it seems as if legislation is the only way to compel local content in Guyana.”
The former MP was adamant that Guyana needs more than just “a policy.” He said that otherwise foreign companies and foreign employees will continue to dominate the oil and gas scene for Guyana.