While Guyana will not receive revenue from oil production until 2020, Presidential Advisor on Petroleum, Dr. Jan Mangal, believes the South American country’s government can pursue loans now to begin fixing crumbling infrastructure.
He said how oil revenue is ultimately utilized and if it is used to support existing industries will determine the extent to which Guyanese benefit from this new sector.
“The focus should be on taking the revenues from oil and spending it and investing it in existing industries. It is about spending it on all the things that Guyanese have been complaining about for years, example; roads, bridges, schools, hospitals…,” He said. He noted that the timeline for this is affected by when the revenues start flowing, but “the Government has the opportunity to go and borrow monies now and start spending on these entire infrastructure projects that they didn’t have monies for but should have been done a long time ago.”
He added that it is on these infrastructural development projects that Guyanese will see the benefits. “And these will all require local skills. Building a school is all local jobs, building a road is all local jobs, building a university is all local jobs or transforming UG (University of Guyana) into the top University in the Caribbean is all local jobs,” the Presidential Advisor said.
When oil production begins Guyana is expected to receive around one million US dollars per day, at the current market price for oil.