Several firms operating in the country’s extractive sector have failed to comply with a global transparency initiative being undertaken by the Guyana Government.
The initiative, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), is a global standard to promote accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources.
Guyana just completed and submitted its first EITI report. However, out of nine companies identified to partake, only seven complied.
Addressing media operatives on Friday, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman stated that the EITI procedure is currently voluntary, which enables companies to determine whether or not their data should be released.
“I believe that scoring seven out of nine on the first go is an excellent score to achieve. I believe that for reasons best known to the companies, they chose not to participate. We didn’t get a sense that it was a refusal, rather an opting out at this moment,” he explained.
However, Trotman said legislation may be needed to ensure companies comply.
It was reported just a few days ago on Wednesday that total revenues from the sector in the 2017 fiscal year amounted to $20.8 Billion.
The Guyana Gold Board, to which gold declarations are made, accounted for 33 per cent of this revenue. This is followed by the Guyana Revenue Authority, 32 per cent and the Ministry of Finance, 18 per cent.
Gold and other minerals contributed $17.4 Billion or 84 per cent of revenue from the extractive industries. On the other hand, oil and gas contributed $2.8 Billion or 14 per cent. Bauxite, one of Guyana’s oldest industries, contributed $479 Million or 2 per cent.
The extractive industries’ contribution to exports has a dollar value of 193.2 Billion. Besides the sector’s contribution to exports, it contributed 9.3 per cent to total Government revenues and 4.2 per cent to Guyana’s total employment. Its contribution to Guyana’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 20 per cent.