Int’l expert due in November to aid GRA in setting up O&G unit – Statia

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Godfrey Statia , Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA),

Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia told media operatives on Wednesday that an ‘in-house expert’ for the soon-to-be functional oil and gas unit within the GRA has been recruited.

Statia pointed out that, “He would be with us from the beginning of November and then he will continue with us until the entire process is set up.”

The expert is being provided through a partnership between the British Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He explained that “This process will see everything from start to finish as to what is needed, the type of auditing software, the type of infrastructure and all of these other things.”

Asked whether he is satisfied so far in the agency’s preparedness for the oil and gas sector, Statia said, “We need to recognize it is a work in progress. Oil has never been discovered here. We need to first train persons in petroleum accounting then after we do that we need to look at the Petroleum Sharing Agreement and see how best we can work.”

He reminded that the GRA is just one of the agencies that would be integrally involved in the oil and gas sector.

“Therefore, there needs to be a cohesive unit which takes into consideration the Department of Energy and all of the other agencies”, Statia said.

The GRA boss explained that, “The staff that will be in the oil and gas unit – even though many of them may be from the original GRA – those persons would be replaced and we will also be employing external persons. So, we envisage that the oil and gas unit would start with between 38 and 43 persons and as the activity grows so the agency would grow.”

The unit is being set up to monitor the revenues coming from the oil and gas sector and staff at the GRA are currently undergoing training to function effectively in this regard.