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VP Jagdeo defends gov’t plans for oil and gas resources

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Affirms resources are being used to modernise Guyana

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo passionately defended the government’s strategic plans for utilising the oil and gas resources to expand the economy and accelerate the modernisation of Guyana.

He addressed recent criticism by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes in articles published in the local newspapers, during a press conference at the Office of the President, dismissing what he termed as ‘ nonsensical’.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Contrary to suggestions made by the attorney-at-law, Jagdeo emphasised the meticulous planning of the PPP/C, dating back to their 2020 manifesto, even before the ruling party took over the government.

Due to carefully planned investments, around 50,000 Guyanese are currently undergoing training nationwide.  Additionally, the government plans to write off approximately $11 to $13 billion of loans for University of Guyana (UG) students.

The government is also prioritising the modernisation of the healthcare system to ensure world-class services are delivered to the people.

“We’re building 12 new hospitals and upgrading the entire system…. we said in the manifesto, we will build infrastructure for the future that will support economic infrastructure, that will support a diversified economy so that we avoid the Dutch disease,” Dr Jagdeo detailed on Thursday.

He continued, “And we’re doing that. You see the infrastructure rollout across the country; ports, power plants, highways, et cetera.”

He strongly affirmed that no foreigner cannot reshape the country under this government, which implemented a series of legislative reforms for the prudent management of the sector.  

“They will do that under APNU, where they had no planning capability and they couldn’t even stand up to a mediocre investor, much less ExxonMobil,” he opined.

Legislative reforms

In just four years, the current administration has managed to reform the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) Act, guaranteeing greater transparency and accountability in the management of the resources.

The Petroleum Activities Bill and the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) of 2016 also underwent massive modifications, ensuring greater benefits for the country.

Furthermore, greater local capacity is being developed through the Local Content Act which was approved in in the National Assembly in 2021.

This landmark legislation has warranted thousands of Guyanese companies benefitting from about $US700 million in procurement opportunities.

The vice president further highlighted, “In the same law, we forced companies to outline their five-year plan and how they will build local capacity, the training for Guyanese, et cetera. We are now building a college in Berbice to train more people for the oil and gas sector.”

The government is also on track to finalising its gas strategy, outlining how the natural gas assets will be harnessed to ensure cheaper energy products for its citizens.

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