Since the dawn of an oil and gas industry here, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson said he has observed an increase in the employment of foreign consultants for the construction industry. Displeased with this, the Minister is now urging that the nation’s locals be given first preference and to be fully utilised before firms turn to foreign options.
Patterson said it is no secret that the construction industry has grown over the last couple of years which, in part, has been fueled by the growing oil and gas industry. The Minister said that these developments are welcomed by the government.
However, he said, “It has been brought to my attention, and I would have witnessed this first-hand, the increased employment of non-local consultants within this sector. I would readily acknowledge that we lack the expertise in the oil and gas industry but we have a long and rich history in designing and constructing buildings, wharves, warehouses, and other commercial buildings.”
He added, “Our local architects, engineers, surveyors, and technicians would have designed and supervised hundreds of buildings of varying sizes and complexity within our dear land. And our local contractors would have built these buildings, in accordance with these designs and specifications.”
The Public Infrastructure Minister said, too, that the nation’s local consultants, building contractors, and electrical contractors can design and build future headquarters, warehouses, offices complexes, housing units and compounds to whatever specifications that are required for the oil sector.
Speaking to the Guyana Standard this afternoon, the Minister said, “Considering our experience and rich institutional knowledge within the construction industry, I want to make it clear that we, as Guyanese, have the capacity to design and build most types of structures, and therefore, our services should be fully utilised before looking beyond these shores.”
Patterson said that his Ministry will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that this is realised within the shortest possible time.