Since removing the oil sector from the care of the Natural Resources Ministry to the Ministry of Presidency, there has been no move to ensure mechanisms are in place for Guyana to get maximum value for its oil wealth said Attorney-at-Law and Petroleum Academic, Charles Ramson.
Ramson posited that President David Granger’s record on oil and gas to date can only be described as abysmal. The lawyer was keen to highlight that the government took care to put in place, a Natural Resource Fund to collect the oil money, but mechanisms such as a Petroleum Commission, a robust Local Content Policy leading into legislation and a trained cadre of professionals for auditing and measuring of the oil are absent.
Ramson went on to note that there are four pillars to building a well-run sector.
He said that they include “knowing what you have, and its worth, getting a good deal for it and avoiding the temptation to spend wildly but rather, invest. The bedrock for these pillars is transparency and accountability, free and fair elections, and independent and robust institutions. The Granger led administration has done nothing to strengthen these pillars or the bedrock…”
Ramson said that from a political standpoint, no one is really taking charge of the sector. He opined, “Without a doubt, Granger’s record on oil and gas to date is abysmal. He should have done more. This is the most important transformative revenue earner for Guyana in 30 years and he has dropped the ball.”
Ramson told Guyana Standard that the government’s only concern is quoting how many millions it stands to get from the sector but on the aspect of effective management of the industry, there has been utter silence.