Head of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe has called on Indigenous leaders to craft a strategic plan to ensure their communities benefit equally from oil proceeds.
His call is made as oil production is expected to commence in the first quarter of next year.
Dr. Bynoe was at the time addressing the over 200 Toshaos and other Indigenous leaders in Georgetown for the 13th National Toshaos Council (NTC) conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
He said, “It must not just be a band-aid solution to address an immediate need, it should be focused towards where is it you want to go as a community, as a village and how is it you are going to get there.”
Dr. Bynoe also explained that Guyana will not automatically be transformed with first oil since the $62Billion only represents about 10% of Guyana’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
While providing an overview of the new and emerging sector, he explained that in terms of direct benefits, Guyana is entitled to 2% royalty and 12.2% of profit oil in the initial stages.
Dr. Bynoe further outlined that going forward; indirect benefits will include associated gas which can help in electricity stability and the reduction of the cost of energy; and even more training opportunities.
In response, the Toshaos called for more education and awareness programmes on oil and gas within the hinterland villages.