By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – With adequate preparation and policies in place, Guyana will not succumb to the Dutch disease, but instead will grow to become a thriving country with a vibrant population, says Governance Minister, Raphael Trotman.
Trotman made the statement while speaking at the Oil and Gas two-day seminar at the Arthur Chung Convention Center, Liliendaal on Friday, October 30.
The seminar is being held to spotlight key elements for the design and implementation of the legal and regulatory frameworks to effectively govern the petroleum sector.
Trotman noted that preparation for the development of a full-fledged Hydrocarbon sector will take many years and requires strengthening of institutional frameworks. This is not limited to the natural resources sector but also in the spheres of business services, foreign affairs, the justice and education systems, social protection, and the environment just to name a few.
He said that an entire nation has to get on board together and with one plan of action.
“Guyana is being proactive in its approach to this emerging sector to ensure that all mechanisms necessary for the effective management and the best outcomes for its people are in place even before the first barrel of oil is brought to the surface, refined and sold,” he stated.
Development of the oil and gas sector is notorious for the risks and threats that it poses to economic, social and political stability, and the environment. Therefore, good governance and astute management of the sector is, then, a major challenge for governments and domestic institutions, the Minister stated.
“Oil is coming; we must prepare and become adept of what is going to be bequeathed and placed into our hands. We must make the necessary efforts to ensure that in decades to come we have something to show for our sustainable utilization of our natural resources,” Trotman underscored.
He maintained that the Government is serious about utilizing national patrimony in the best interest of the people of Guyana.
“This is demonstrated in steps being taken to strengthen our policy frameworks within the natural resources sector and our plans to set aside a meaningful percentage of everything earned from gold, diamond, forest, bauxite, water and oil for future generations.”
Meanwhile, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator, Khadijah Meusa stated that it is empirical that governments implement the right policies, develop capacity and consult with communities in the development of this sector.
She said that failure to do so would see Guyana falling prey to the curse of oil.