As Guyana moves closer to first oil, local and international critics continue to voice their opinions in the media about the many areas in governance, and as well as contract administration, that remain unaddressed. While he agrees with the need for this to be highlighted, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ramps Logistics, Shaun Rampersad, says that one needs to be cautious about the message this “glass half empty” picture is sending to the wider community.
Speaking with the Guyana Standard recently, Rampersad, whose company entered the local market in 2013, said that there appears to be a great focus on everything that is not in order while failing to acknowledge the strides made thus far.
The Trinidadian said, “You shouldn’t beat yourself up every day regarding all the things you will not get done before first oil…You have to remember that Guyana did not have the same opportunity as Trinidad, for example. Trinidad had a chance to grow in this industry. We had onshore, nearshore, and then offshore. So we learnt to crawl then walk. This is not the case with Guyana. You had to move from zero to 100.”
He continued, “Considering the odds, Guyana is doing fairly well. Everything would not be perfect but you must acknowledge the strides you have made while making efforts to improve identified weaknesses.”
The COO further said that Guyana should be applauded for having a Natural Resource Fund (NRF) in place as well as becoming a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) before first oil comes on stream.
Rampersad said, “These two things make me feel very optimistic about Guyana’s future in oil. Had Trinidad been part of the EITI 40 years ago, we would have been in a better position today. Another factor that makes me optimistic about Guyana is social media.” In this regard, the COO noted that social media has proven to be a powerful platform to expose wrongdoings while stressing the need for transparency.
Rampersad said that the foregoing factors, along with the media’s continued watchdog role in providing informative industry pieces, will all serve to steer Guyana in the right direction.