When comments are made about local content in Guyana, the formulae adopted by commentators, seldom take into consideration non-certification of local companies seeking to enter the oil and gas sector, says Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.
The Minister during a media engagement at his South Road, Georgetown office earlier today, said that the issue of local content is not “peculiar” to Guyana’s natural resources sector. In fact, the minister contends that the bauxite company once employed over 6000 persons with the gold industry employing another large number of persons.
The oil industry on the other hand, requires higher levels of standard and expertise given the fact that the major operations take place in open sea, where safety is the number one priority. The minister said that comments have been made in the local press to the effect that all Guyanese should benefit from contracts to supply
services, goods or skills to the emerging sector. However, that is easier said than done.
Greenidge explained that the services being sought by the contractors, or even by ExxonMobil, has to be of a particular standard. “The services that international companies are seeking to acquire, has to come from agencies that are internationally certified.” He noted that it is not a question of buying from an individual because he/she is Guyanese, it is about the standard of the products and services.
“It is necessary to ensure that they’re certified. That’s a major constraint; it doesn’t mean that Guyanese can’t do it but it means that you mustn’t carry on a conversation as though you are ignorant of those realities.” The minister’s advice to local companies is to get certified, and add value to the goods and service they wish to provide.