While having a local content policy is important for an oil-developing state like Guyana, its citizenry should not wait for it to be implemented, says Finance Minister Winston Jordan. He advised that persons should instead go forth and get in on the action because while companies that come here to invest are also waiting for the policy to be completed they are moving ahead.
Jordan made these comments at a Peoples’ National Congress Reform (PNCR) media conference that was held at the party’s headquarters yesterday at Sophia, Greater Georgetown.
Asked to provide an update on the process, Jordan intimated that he was informed by the Head of the Energy Department, Dr Mark Bynoe, that it is almost finished.
“They have engaged another consultant and it’s about to be finished. I think that [it] will be available for public consumption fairly shortly,” Jordan said without committing to a specific timeline.
He told media operatives that while the local content policy is about to be completed, it will take some time for it to take flight to allow Guyanese to really benefit.
“Local content [is] absolutely important; absolutely vital. But don’t wait for local content…Use existing legislation to ensure that we get parts of the pie while the local content legislation is being crafted and implemented,” The economist advised.
Jordan’s remarks on the local content policy come after Dr Bynoe earlier this year revealed that the department had engaged a consultant to finalise the policy. The official in February of this year shared that the policy would be finalised in two and a half months. Five months has since elapsed since that statement was made.
According to the second draft of the policy, local content under the Guyanese narrative will be understood as the sum of inputs of local goods and services, including employment across the oil and gas value chain. The primary objective of the policy is ensuring the education, inclusion, and advancement of as many as possible in the value chain of the oil and gas industry.
In an effort to maximise benefits and retain value from Guyana’s petroleum resources, considerable focus will be given towards capacity development, local content and value addition. That policy framework is built on five themes: value maximisation; training and employment; supplier development; ownership; and taxation.