Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has given all assurances that legislation will be put in place to retain more value for local content while adding that mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that oil companies are not inflating costs expended in that regard.
The former President made this comment during an interview on a local radio programme. There, Jagdeo was reminded that Exxon Mobil has said that it expended some $60M on hiring and training Guyanese as well as for the procurement of local goods and services. The official was reminded too that these costs which the company says were spent from 2015 to 2019, have not been audited. In addition to those expenses, ExxonMobil disclosed a few weeks ago that it racked up a $14B local content bill for the first half of the year.
On this premise, Dr. Jagdeo was asked to provide clarity on how the PPP will be taking a different approach to that of its predecessor. The Vice President said, “Because there is no law, no legislation governing local content, there has been no definition to outline what constitutes local content and there has been no interest on the part of the previous government to hold the company accountable in this regard. That is why people can get away with this sort of thing.”
The former President added, “So once you have legislation, you need to have the means of enforcing it. That is why we need the capability in government to ensure that every provision of the contract, going forward, that those are observed by the companies involved and this includes auditing of the costs and to see whether the components of those costs are properly classified.”
Dr. Jagdeo assured that the government has already begun the process of engaging experts to build this capacity while noting that legislation can be passed as early as year end.