When the APNU+AFC administration had appointed Consultant, Dr Jan Mangal in March 2017 as Presidential Advisor, at no point during his tenure did he ever request that capacity be developed or that the relevant expertise be hired to ensure independent reviews of data on the Stabroek Block which would be submitted by ExxonMobil.

This noted by Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman during an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard. His comments are in wake of remarks made by Dr Mangal to the effect that Trotman is essentially responsible for the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC) inability to do independent reviews of the data in question.

The minister said he is not sure what Dr Mangal’s quest is or how long his blame throwing will continue, but he stressed nonetheless that part of the consultant’s mandate as the president’s advisor was to provide the technical knowledge that the government needed to build a strong team.

Trotman said, “In many of the technical areas, I stood back so he could be allowed to do his job. And I can tell you that when I was in charge of oil, I never received a request from him to discuss this matter. He never told me I needed to hire anyone to interpret data. I am not a technical person and I relied on him. I never hindered his work so I don’t know where the bitterness is coming from. I have no bone to pick with him.”

The minister said that during the three years he was in charge of the oil sector, he did as much as he could or what he thought was best. He recalled making numerous efforts to ensure that several officials were sent for oil and gas training in Norway, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

“We worked as hard as we could. Some of those people have started to come back and they will help to serve the sector well. Others are still in training but, regardless of his remarks, I still wish Dr Mangal well,” the minister concluded.



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