Govt utilising oil and gas resources to ensure all Guyanese benefit – AG

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Attorney General Anil Nandlall

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, says Guyana’s projected growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can also be credited to the growth in the non-oil sectors.

This is in keeping with the government’s efforts to diversify the economy, and utilise the resources garnered from the oil and gas sector to encourage sustainable economic growth.

The AG was at the time speaking during an interview on the Live Wire.

“We are not making the mistake made by so many other oil producing territories, of overconcentrating in that one sector. Rather, we are using the proceeds of that sector, recognising that it is a sector that is exhaustive and ensuring that proper investments are made in the other sectors so that the dependency is not sole and exclusive, but rather spread along different economic activities and creating different revenue streams.”

He said Guyana’s agriculture sector will be heavily dependent on the oil and gas resources, given its potential to grow exponentially. The attorney general noted that this will go a far way in realising the CARICOM’s 25 by 2025 vision of reducing its food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.

According to the AG, the resources will be utilised to advance all sectors including education and infrastructure, as well as constitutional reform.

Moreover, he noted that the government is looking to facilitate the production of electricity at a lower cost, and exploring resources in alternative sectors such as hydropower, solar and wind.

In response to questions regarding the legal mechanisms in place to promote sustainability within the oil and gas sector, he divulged that government is seeking to create the legislative foundation to guide the endeavor.

“Economic advancement cannot take place in a vacuum. It must take place in an infrastructure that is recognised by law and that is based on law. We are in the process of creating that regulatory framework for the oil and gas sector, and we have to build from ground zero in that regard, because it is a new sector.”

He made reference to the Local Content Legislation, installed in 2021, as well as the Natural Resources Fund, aspects of legislation crafted by the PPP/C Administration to regulate the industry.

Further, addressing the ‘lopsided’ nature of the country’s contract with ExxonMobil, entered into during the APNU+AFC’s tenure in office, AG Nandlall, expressed the importance of recognising and respecting the sanctity of contracts, reiterating the government’s commitment to ensuring that future contracts are different, guided by consultations with several international law firms. [DPI]