Private sector group wants Guyana government to explain how it will use oil money

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Deodat Indar, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)

The head of a body representing private sector interest in Guyana believes that the country’s government should already have a plan in place on how revenues from the oil and gas industry will be utilized.

In an interview on Thursday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Deodat Indar, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said, “We need to see some document, law or policy that would state what we will do with the monies that we receive from Exxon.”

In this regard, he suggested that a national conversation should take place to seriously examine investment opportunities for the country’s oil revenues.

“There were four broad areas outlined but we need to go into more details on where we will spend the oil revenues for capacity development in Guyana. We need to develop our institutions from security to the fire service, to the hospitals to the schools, roads, bridges, ports and ICT networks,” he said.

The production of oil will begin in 2020 and Guyana will receive revenues from day one of production. Government is yet to roll out a clear development plan outlining how projected revenues from this new industry will be utilized.

A number of Guyanese stakeholders including private sector groups and members of civil society have been calling on government to explain its vision for the use of oil revenue.

Representatives of the donor community have also been pointing out that while revenues from oil production can transform Guyana to “one of the richest” countries in the western hemisphere, this requires thoughtful planning.