The Ministry of Natural Resources 2017 estimates were examined and passed in the National Assembly, yesterday.
The 2017 Capital expenditures for the Ministry are as follows:
-purchase of vehicles and motorcycles ($70M). These include pickups, a four-wheel drive vehicle, ATVS and motorcycles for the petroleum and compliance divisions.
– purchase of furniture and equipment ($178.963M). The furniture are for: outfitting an additional building in Duke Street, Kingston as part of the Ministry’s expansion, outfitting new petroleum division at the Ministry which will be constructed in 2017 to house 14 members of staff, buoys for oil spill detection, oil spill floating detection, vault, radio systems, water dispenser, etc
-Forest Carbon partnership project ($50M). Under this project $30M was allocated for functioning of the REDD secretariat and institutional support and capacity building for the National Toshaos Council (NTC)
-$16.4M for the establishment of National Grievance Redress mechanism and
-$3.6M for the communication and outreach action plan development and participatory mechanisms to be put in place.
The Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman was questioned by Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) in relation to allocations for staffing. Opposition MP, Pauline Sukhai questioned the increase in allocations for contracted employees.
Minister Trotman noted that the allocation was part of assimilating scholarship students upon their return. The Minister noted that there were 12 students in the areas of forest rangers, engineers and environmental officers that needed to be accommodated. The Minister pointed out too that the allocations were for the Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes, her four staff and an additional two persons.
The estimates have also allocated increased provisions for training and scholarships. Opposition MPs questioned what opportunities will be available from the $7M allocated.
Minister Trotman pointed out that training identified under current expenditure includes:
-seminar for the greening of the economy in natural resources
– training for project cycle management
-occupational health and safety education and
-geographic information training
Opposition MP, Odinga Lumumba questioned whether training for small to medium scale miners was provided for. Minister Trotman noted that training for miners will be done by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and included techniques in mine management, safety and greening of the economy.
“Minister Broomes…is going to spearhead the project of greening the natural resources sector and mining which is a new art,” Minister Trotman said. Over 300 miners were trained by the Guyana Mining School last year.
Meanwhile, the Minister was also questioned by Lumumba on whether an “adequate plan” would be provided for the emerging oil and gas sector. “We do have a revised petroleum upstream policy, local content policies and laws…” Minister Trotman responded.
Expenditure for petroleum management is $200.720M
Works under this sector include:
-Training (including scholarship)
– Recruitment of director and deputy director of petroleum, attorneys at law, economist, local content and corporate social responsibility officer, and two geo -scientists among others
-Consultations for the finalising of local content policy, local content regulation, completion of the sovereign wealth fund and accompanying funds, geo-scientific review of the petroleum data on hand. (GINA)