Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo is of the view that the time has come for “frank” discussions on Guyana’s local content gains.
He made this contention during a press conference on Thursday noting, “I think it’s time that we have that. Remember we said we have to assess. So it’s time”. He further noted that the assessment should be a public one, where the media, oil and gas companies and other stakeholders can be present to have a “frank assessment” of what measures worked, which didn’t and how the current measures can be enhanced.
In December 2021, Guyana’s landmark Local Content Bill was passed in the National Assembly and was subsequently enacted. The Bill aimed to prioritise Guyanese nationals and companies in the procurement of goods and services for oil and gas operations to see an increased retention of the economic benefits in Guyana while simultaneously allowing for an increase in the number, competencies, and capabilities of the Guyanese nationals and companies participating in the petroleum sector. It is important to note that in its First Schedule, there is a clear outline of 40 sectors that prioritize the involvement of Guyanese businesses, while ensuring a robust contribution to the economy.
During the conference, Jagdeo sought to highlight the importance of including the oil and gas companies in the conversation as their challenges deserve to be voiced too. “Because at the end of the day, we want them to drive more business to our people,” he noted.
In March this year, it was revealed that the government plans to update the existing local content laws to reflect the learnings and recommendations from stakeholders in the growing oil and gas industry. It was further noted that the update to the local content law will likely include new provisions but will first go through a review process with engagements from all stakeholders.
The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, noted that such laws are often reevaluated to ensure they correctly reflect the actualities on the ground and was keen to note that Guyana has matured significantly.