The dawn of the new year has coincided with the start of oil production in Guyana and the country’s President, David Granger, says this will help to intensify plans to transform the South American nation of just over 750,000 people in the next decade.
Mr. Granger in his new year’s message to Guyanese, outlined a number of interventions planned in the coming years which form part of his Decade of Development programme intended to improve health, infrastructure, education, medical services and the standard of living in the new oil producing country.
“I declared 20th December ‘National Petroleum Day’ signifying that Guyana had become a petroleum-producing state. The increased fiscal space created by the commencement of petroleum production allows the intensification of the rate of implementation of these transformative processes,” he stated.
Expanding on the plans, should his government win reelection at the upcoming March 2 polls, Mr. Granger said the administration will ensure that petroleum revenues are managed prudently for present and future generations. “We shall do this through a Natural Resource Fund which, as it stands, meets 21 of the 24 Santiago Principles with the other three principles to be met once the legislation comes into force.”
He added, “I am pleased to announce the launch of a Decade of Development: 2020-2029 – a ten-year plan that will accelerate the country’s four transformative processes – the ‘green state’, the ‘digital state’, the ‘petroleum state’ and an education nation.”
The Guyanese leader said the plan will see the following:
- The first transformative process involves the transition towards becoming a ‘green state’ that will emphasize the preservation and protection of the environment and the graduation towards greater value-added production;
- The second will be the development of a ‘digital state’ which will connect every region, neighbourhood, village, community and government agency, generate ICT services and make public services more accessible;
- The third will be the emergence of an ‘education nation’, characterised by every child attending primary school, every child graduating from secondary school and the country having a more highly educated workforce; and
- The fourth will be the beginning of petroleum production which will result in faster economic growth, increased employment and economic opportunities and larger fiscal revenues.
“We can expect to live in a gentle, green and good country, during the Decade of Development as a result of these changes,” Mr. Granger said.
Oil production began in Guyana on December 20 at the Liza Phase 1 Development located 190 km offshore at the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block.
The full text of President Granger’s message can be viewed here.