Guyana needs clear strategy on spending oil earnings- UK envoy

 Guyana needs clear strategy on spending oil earnings- UK envoy

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn.

Britain says while Guyana appears to be progressing towards commercial oil production, there appears to be no clear indication on how the South American nation will spend some of the revenues.

High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn said Guyanese stakeholders need to discuss how the money should be spent on the social sectors and infrastructure while putting some of the earnings in a Sovereign Wealth Fund.   

“The sort of conversation, which I know is happening, is already happening around those two areas, but what I would like to see a bit more detail about is exactly what the strategy is for spending the money,” he told a news briefing at his Bel Air Gardens residence.

He said the United Kingdom would be willing to assist Guyana in developing a strategy to spend the oil revenues, but he suggested that the international community needed to ensure there was no unnecessary replication of efforts.

Quinn cited the need for a “continuing discussion” among civil society, the population, politicians and civil servants “about which areas need the money that will come out of oil and how you prioritise those areas.”

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has said countrywide consultations would be held with ordinary Guyanese about the implications of the massive oil find for Guyana’s future.

He acknowledged that Canada has been assisting Guyana in forging ahead with discussions on how the Sovereign Wealth Fund should be created and managed. “What you can’t do is spend all the money. You have to prepare for a rainy day,” he said.

Guyana is expected to begin producing 100,000 barrels of oil daily from the more than 2 billion barrels that have been found offshore Guyana by the American oil giant, ExxonMobil.  Trotman has said the Production Sharing Agreement provides for 75 percent of every barrel of oil produced to go towards the cost of investment while the remaining 25 percent profit will be split equally between ExxonMobil and Guyana.

The United States (US) has already urged Guyana to spend  some of the revenues from oil on the social sectors and infrastructure with the partial aim of creating numerous jobs. The offshore oil production operation caters for just about 100 jobs.

Government hopes that a onshore support base at Crab Island will create at least 600 jobs. An expert has been hired to examine the feasibility of Guyana building an oil refinery.

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  • Laurens  On February 25, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Please, please, PLEASE use it to repair and create infrastructure, setting the stage for other industries to be born and develop. Take advantage of the available data on agriculture, agroforestry and sustainable extraction of raw materials. Remember the resources in the diaspora willing and able to provide their experience and knowledge. Work with technical PARTNERS respectful of YOUR aspirations rather than simply raping the land and stealing the cream.

    Move up the value-added chain instead of being JUST a raw material provider, circumventing as best you can the undermining attempt at influence from more financially and militarily secure countries (hint, hint …).

    Strive to be the reincarnation of the Haiti of old, if in a new location. Reach out, when you can, with a helping hand to our Caribbean and South American neighbors going through their own hard times. Show that a rising tide CAN lift all boats. Empower the people; ask for their ideas; involve them in the improvement process. Recognize their sacrifices; let them enjoy the fruits of their country’s bounty. When they make good suggestions, as a part of an open, respectful, thoughtful debate about direction, recognize their efforts with honest gratitude. Be a TRUE example of democracy in action.

    I realize this is HARDLY a blueprint. It is NOT meant to be. It is, I hope, something of a rallying cry to provide even a scintilla of encouragement. As I remember from The Students Companion in Carmel R.C. school: great oak trees from little acorns grow. I wish you every success in this somewhat more promising phase of the journey forward.

  • LONDON WOMAN  On February 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Who the frigg care. Country is disgusting . No wonder people are trying to leave. Feel so sorry for people who lI’ve there.

  • LONDON WOMAN  On February 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    The country run by fake politicians / weirdo / in bred

    • Ben Khan  On February 26, 2017 at 6:06 am

      Not fake politicians, more like immature kids teasing each other. Each one trying to make a bigger name for themselves. It seems they are counting their chickens a bit too soon, or putting their carts in the wrong places. Indeed, there are wonderful things happening in Guyana, but no one is looking far ahead to see what could happen when tourists are killed, or beaten. With such a small population, there is no reason why the security personnel should be afraid of the
      thieves or the killers. Guyana is already on the map, and news travel faster these days.

  • Ron Saywack  On February 26, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Before anyone gets their garment in a knot, they should first be reminded that Guyana in a land embroiled in long disputes with its neighbours to the east and to the west.

    First, Venezuela has staked claim to nearly two-thirds of Guyana, west of the Essequibo, an area presumably rich in oil, gold and other mineral deposits. Venezuela may ultimately use military force to finally settle the stand-off? Tiny Guyana would then be helpless in mounting effective countervailing action.

    Second, Surinam lays claim to more than 6000 square miles in the south-east, the New River Triangle. Should both neighbours get want the claim, Guyana will have become a prodigiously emaciated image of its former self, sadly.

    In 1898 at the behest of the United States, an arbitration panel convened in Paris to settle the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. The panel consisted of five members: two British judges, two American judges and a Russian jurist. The Russian member was essentially the tie-breaker.

    The Arbitration Panel’s decision was handed down in 1899. It essentially gave Britain all the land it had claimed. Well, so it seemed until 1949 when an American lawyer reviewed the decision and asserted that the Russian jurist was persuaded to favour British Guiana (Britain).

    Venezuela has been up in arms ever since.

    It is imperative, in the interest of both nations, that the long-standing dispute is resolved by a newly-constituted independent international arbitration panel, one that is fully apprised of all the facts and data.

    Alas, the dream of fortuitous wealth for long-suffering Guyanese, both at home and abroad, may soon turn into a nightmare.

    Ron Saywack.

    • London woman  On February 26, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I live in London and my work colleagues who are white English think it’s an African country so it’s not really on the map unless you want to get robbed and murdered.

  • Ben Khan  On February 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    My, My. Such Ignorance!

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