State Minister Joseph Harmon today said that while government has use for the expertise of Dr Jan Mangal, the Presidential Advisor on Petroleum does not speak on behalf of the Head of State or the government as a whole.
Minister Harmon’s statement comes on the heels of comments made by the Presidential Advisor regarding the oil contract between Guyana and US oil giant, ExxonMobil.
According to Harmon, the views expressed by Dr Mangal does not reflect the position of the President or that of government.
“He is an advisor to the President and works within framework and in that framework advice is given to his excellency, it is up to the President to decide whether this advice is good I will follow it or this advice is not good and therefore I will not follow it…its not to give directions as the case may be” said Harmon.
Dr Mangal told reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas forum at UG last evening that when situations change and one party to a contract is dissatisfied with a contract it has with another, then amendments can be made.
He was at the time, referring to the oil contract between Guyana and ExxonMobil, criticising the low royalty and large concession given to the US oil company.
Last evening the Ministry of the Presidency sent out a one paragraph statement, distancing itself from comments made by the Petroleum Advisor.
When asked whether government will be renewing Dr Mangal’s contract as Presidential advisor, the State Minister said “his contract is an IDB contract…the extent to which Dr Mangal continues to provide advice…I believe to that extent that we have use for Dr Mangal, whether in fact he makes statements in his own private capacity that is another matter but in so far as the advice which he gives…it is on those terms that the contract whether it is extended or whether it is brought to an end it is on those terms” Harmon said.