When American oil giant, ExxonMobil, gave Guyana a US$18M signing bonus back in 2016, the coalition administration had said that US$3M would be put aside for much needed capacity building within the respective ministries and government agencies.
But Finance Minister, Winston Jordan recently revealed that that allocation “is virtually untouched.”
Challenged to explain why this money was not used for training even though it was available for use more than two years now, Jordan said, “I cannot answer that question…”
He was also asked to say if the Government completed mapping its capacity needs within the respective Ministries. Jordan said that this was done to an extent.
The economist said that he can safely speak for his Ministry, in that, all technical needs for the oil sector was outlined. The Finance Minister also stated that there are several persons who are in various countries on scholarships as regards training for oil and gas from his Ministry.
While Guyana’s authorities had access to US$3M since 2016 for training, it still sought to collect millions of dollars from its international donor agencies for the same purpose. Last year for example, the World Bank provided the country with a US$35M Development Policy Credit.
In August of last year, the government also took a US$1.6M loan from the International Development Association (IDA) for capacity building. Another donor agency, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), also stepped in and provided Guyana with a loan for US$11.6M, part of which is to be used for capacity building.
In the meantime, the Government has since transferred US$3.7M from the signing bonus to the Consolidated Fund to meet expenses by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. These expenses relate to legal and other issues for Guyana’s territorial dispute with Venezuela.