Change in political leadership should not affect national agenda – Persaud

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Robert Persaud, former Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, speaking at GIPEX 2018.

Guyana’s former Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud, is calling for a framework to be established that would ensure there is some degree of continuity and consistency when it comes to how long-term goals for national development are treated after there is a change in political leadership.

Speaking on Day 2 of the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Exhibition and Summit (GIPEX) held last week in the country’s capital, Georgetown, the former Minister with responsibility for the petroleum sector said this is particularly important as Guyana moves towards becoming an oil producer.

“Continuity versus change is important; whether change in government, change in Minister or change in anything, there must be some level of consistency and continuity that investors, yourself, everyone, would want to have,” he said.

Persaud pointed out that a serious conversation is needed to address this critical issue and it requires across-the-board input if a reasonable solution is to be arrived at.

Changes in government in Guyana that result from a change in the political party holding office often result in a total reset of programmes.

Persaud served as Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in the Peoples Progressive Party Civic-led government which lost the national elections in 2015 after being in power for 23 years. Prior to that, the People’s National Congress was in office for 28 years.

Politicians, members of civil society and the business community have expressed views which are in sync with Persaud’s; calling for a system to be implemented that would see a national agenda and vision being set, which, save and except for expected adjustments at the change of governments, remain intact.

“I think it is an important point that all of us in this conversation, in this room and outside, would have to be ramped up; how do we ensure that we manage continuity, that we ensure there is continuity but within the context of whatever changes there would be to have some level of confidence,” he said.

Guyanese will once again be going to the polls in 2020; the same year US oil major, ExxonMobil, will begin oil production in the South American country.

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