Officials from oil giant ExxonMobil made a first time appearance before the National Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee on Friday; where they gave an account for their activities in Guyana and also defended the recently announced US$10 million grant.
Leading the team was Country manager Rod Henson, who was asked about the implications of conflict of interest when part of that money will go to Conservation International of Guyana, an environmental watchdog.
“CI is an international NGO… Don’t you think that CI being grantee of US$10 million is actually a conflict of interest? They are the international watchdog which our government has been partnering with as it relates environment and conservation,” Committee member and opposition Parliamentarian Pauline Sukhai questioned.
In his answer, however, Henson denied that this was a conflict of interest. In fact, Henson affirmed that the government of Guyana had prior knowledge that the company would partner with CI.