Some Guyanese complaining about denied opportunities, despite local content law – Official

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Guyana’s Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, recently announced the initiation of a comprehensive review of the local content framework. This move comes, he said, amid complaints that some locals are still being disenfranchised.

The AG made the disclosure on his show ‘Issues in the News’.

“We continue to receive complaints in relation to the local content framework and the local content legislation. Reports indicate that Guyanese citizens are being denied fair opportunities to participate in the oil and gas sector and related industries,” stated Attorney General Nandlall.

The government has repeatedly stressed the need to protect Guyanese interests in the oil and gas sector, and had said it would review the legislation soon.

“When the legislation was enacted, we acknowledged its pioneering nature in the Caribbean region and anticipated the need for adjustments as we gained more experience in this new sector… With each passing day, our understanding of the sector deepens, drawing attention to pertinent issues that necessitate our immediate focus,” emphasized Nandlall.

The government is keen on addressing emerging issues such as fronting. The private sector has complained about foreign companies employing “rent-a-citizen” tactics which run counter to the spirit of the Local Content law. He said government will soon initiate consultations with stakeholders.

Local Content accounted for 5% of Guyana’s economy in 2022, judging from estimates provided by the Local Content Secretariat. This agency was established last year to implement the Local Content Act. The gains in 2022, the first year of the law’s operation, mark a milestone for the country’s efforts towards economic diversification and combatting Dutch Disease. 

The government is mulling to expand the categories in the Local Content Act, from 40, to at least 60. Such increase, according to Director of the Local Content Secretariat Dr. Martin Pertab, could bring in an additional US$300-350 million annually.

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