It’s no wonder the PNC futzed around and never created a Local Content Policy for the Oil and Gas industry – which they knew was underway the first week they slid into office in May 2015. They hadn’t a clue, since the closest they’d gotten to oil was when Burnham begged Eric Williams, back in the 1980s, to bail him out with that country’s oil revenues. They can only conceive of oil as a money spigot they’ll turn on to pay for all their whims and fancies.
And we know that these PNC types have a heap of fancies! Why would the Director of Sports want a barbershop? To give all our sportsmen and women haircuts to improve their performances in the field? Exactly how does that work?? Your Eyewitness can see the point with track and field, where low haircuts might reduce the wind friction as our sprinters try to catch up with Usain Bolt! But cricket? Then again, maybe all Guyanese might want to have that blonde top like Shimron Hetmyer!
Anyhow, back to the local content business, which your Eyewitness understands is all about us getting a piece of the oil action. But by now we might be beginning to realise – after millions and millions of barrels of our oil have been shipped, some of it even ours! – that we haven’t even seen a drop!! Shouldn’t some smart bureaucrat be thinking about getting some vials of that oil to each of our villages and towns to let us ordinary yokels get a peep at what’s supposedly gonna have us rolling in riches soon??
Now, we know that the biggest investment (our money, since it’s coming from our oil) will be those gigantic FPSOs that suck the oil out from a mile under the sea and another mile under the crust, clean it of gas, and then store and ship it via tankers that sidle up to them right there in the ocean. They cost from US$2BILLION and upwards, but we’re not getting a penny in that department, since we can’t even build the river ferries we used to construct in the 1960s!!
These FPSOs have to be serviced, no? Well, yes…but we don’t have the skills even for that! We have to get an O&G Institute going to train some locals; so, your Eyewitness hopes the Ministry of Education and the US are listening. What we DO have are the low-end, entry-level jobs that a FOREIGN company, TOTALTEC, trains us for!
What we need is a law like other countries with any sense enact: foreign companies that want to set up shop here must employ at least 60% Guyanese.
THAT’s local content!!
If it’s one thing we have enough of locally, it’s bile. Your Eyewitness returns to the vitriol that issued from the mouths of GECOM Commissioner Desmond Trotman towards GECOM Head Claudette Singh, forcing the poor woman to issue an official statement to defend her name. And imagine, she sits at the head of the organisation that Trotman serves, and she had to remind him that whatever decision she took, he was a party to it!!
But this is just another symptom of what ails our body politic, and might very well end up destroying it: a refusal to accept that if we don’t follow the rules of the institutions, which we ourselves have established to guide our relationships, then we’re just back to the law of the jungle. And from all indications, this is where the PNC wants to drag us, since they revel in getting down and dirty.
Like Harmon accusing the authorities of playing the race card – when all the top brass of GECOM are of one race.
Your Eyewitness notes, with alarm, that our COVID-19 deaths have crossed that 100 number that he’d set internally as a wake-up call. We can’t ignore that Trinidad next door – with double our population – is below that.
We gotta do better!