Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ghana team begins analysis of Guyana’s draft Local Content Bill

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Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall S.C on Tuesday met with the Ghanaian delegation to share expertise and critically analyze Guyana’s draft Local Content Bill.

At the meeting which took place at the AG’s Chambers in Georgetown, Mr. Nandlall and a team of legal officers met with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana’s National Gas Company (GNGC), Mr. Benjamin Asante; Director of the Local Content and Petroleum Commission, Mr. Kwaku Boateng; and Senior Technical Manager at GNGC Mr. Abraham Mensah.

The Attorney General welcomed the delegation to Guyana and expressed his gratitude to the team on behalf of the government and people for offering their expertise in respect of the oil and gas sector generally and more specifically on the issue of local content.

During the meeting, Guyana’s draft Local Content Bill was compared to the Ghanian legislation as well as similar laws in Nigeria, Uganda and Norway. The visiting delegation offered practical guidance as well as recommendations. Various components of the Bill were discussed and critically examined with segments from the various legislations extracted and made part of the Bill.

Ghanaians represent some 86% of the West African country’s workforce, holding core positions in all aspects of the sector, and over 700 Ghanaian-owned companies are registered to supply services and goods to oil companies.

Meanwhile, Guyana is already in the advanced stages of completing its draft Local Content Legislation which outlines a sliding scale of targets to be achieved by petroleum companies and their subcontractors.

The document proposes that Guyanese should be utilized in 152 oil sector services with increased participation levels over a period of three to ten years. The Government is looking to have this Bill presented and debated on in the National Assembly later this year.

A local legal committee was established by the Attorney General comprising of lawyers and drafters from the Attorney General’s Chambers, persons from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and officials of the Natural Resources Ministry. This team will spearhead Guyana’s pursuit of legislative changes in the oil and gas sector. It was agreed that this team and the visiting delegation will continue to work closely in helping to develop a modern and effective Local Content Bill and will continue to collaborate on other matters relating to the legislative infrastructure for the oil and gas industry.

Upon the request of the Attorney General, the Ghanaian delegation promised to send academic writings as well as court rulings on their legislation which will be used to guide Guyana’s efforts.

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Vickram Bharrat and a technical team from his Ministry also attended Tuesday’s meeting.

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