MNR, GRA to go after O&G firms engaged in ‘rent-a-citizen’ practices

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
A view from offshore Guyana where oil production and exploration activities are ongoing

See full statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources:

Companies, Guyanese urged to desist from ‘rent-a-citizen’ practices

Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana (June 10, 2024) As part of our diligent monitoring of Guyana’s petroleum industry, the Ministry of Natural Resources, through the Local Content Secretariat, has intensified its tracking for practices known as “rent-a-citizen” or “fronting”.

Prevalent mainly in cases of joint ventures (JVs), “rent-a-citizen” or “fronting” refers to the unethical practice where foreign companies use local individuals or local entities as mere fronts to meet local content requirements, while the actual control and benefits remain with the foreign entity. This practice undermines the objectives and spirit of the Local Content Act, which aims to ensure that the citizens of Guyana benefit meaningfully from and participate actively in the nation’s natural resources sector.

To address these issues, the Government of Guyana, through the ministry, is actively pursuing measures to curb instances of rent-a-citizen. One of the steps being taken is enhancing our collaboration with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). This closer working relationship aims to identify and penalise those engaging in fronting, ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to the legal and ethical standards set forth by the Local Content Act.

The ministry remains committed to fostering a transparent and equitable petroleum industry that benefits all Guyanese. We urge everyone to support these efforts and uphold the integrity of our local content framework.