Guyanese President defends appointment of Energy Department Head

Guyana's Head of State, President David Granger

Following criticisms of the appointment of Environment and Resource Economist Dr. Mark Bynoe as Head of Guyana’s Department of Energy, President David Granger on Thursday, August 2, 2018, defended the Government’s choice.

Dr Bynoe, Head of Guyana’s Department of Energy

In justifying the hiring of the former head of the Project Development and Management Unit of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), President Granger stated that Government “decided on a person who is experienced, not necessarily in Petroleum, but who has the intelligence and experience to find people who are experienced and who can administer that important ministry.”

Acknowledging concerns raised by some members of the public that the new Department Head does not have experience in the Oil and Gas (O&G) industry, the President stated that, “He [Dr Bynoe] knows he doesn’t know everything but he knows where to find people who know enough to make the sector functional…and we feel that he is a fit and proper person to do that.”

Meanwhile, former Minister of Natural Resources Robert Persaud has welcomed Dr Bynoe’s appointment to the post.  In a social media post on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, Persaud  said that based on his interaction with Dr Bynoe while he was minister , “I have always found him to be a consummate professional with a deep sense of commitment to country and the tasks before him. His academic qualifications and wide professional experience speak for themselves and need no elaboration.”

Persaud described the newly-appointed Head of department as a “young, brilliant Guyanese and we all must be proud that we can find someone, amongst us, who can be tasked with this responsibility.”

Responding to the utterances on the Head’s perceived lack of experience in the Oil and Gas industry, the Former Natural Resources Minister stated that “unlike a few ‘experts’, who now populate the newspapers with their advice and dooms day predictions, and were away for decades enjoying their cushy jobs, as is their right,  including with oil majors and did little or nothing in the initial period when we were preparing for a sustainable oil and gas sector, Dr. Bynoe was offering his expertise in moulding environmental and natural resources professionals at UG, among other contributions.”

He continued to say that we”must be able to give our own a chance, rather than rushing to doubt their skills and abilities to rise to the occasion.”