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Steps being taken to ensure wealth fund is fully operational by 2019 – President Granger

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Concerted steps are being taken to ensure that the revenues accrued from the oil and gas sector will not be squandered, but instead, be invested strategically in building human and institutional capacity for future generations.

These were the words of President David Granger, as he addressed the 97th sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday.

He stated that “Your Government is committed to transparency in the management of this sector.”

Pointing to the Petroleum Commission Bill, he said work is continuing on the document, which was redrafted by the World Bank and it is currently being reviewed by the Department of Energy.

He added that “The review includes the amendments to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act and regulation.”

The Head of State also give the assurance that the Natural Resource Fund will be established before first oil in 2020.

He said, “the Government has already begun to build the capacity of the agencies that will be responsible for the management of the fund and an implementation plan has been developed to ensure that it is fully operational in 2019.”

He explained that “The legislation as it stands meets 21 of the 24 Santiago principles with the other three principles being met once the legislation comes into force. It is being reviewed by the Cabinet and the revised legislation will be laid in the National Assembly next month.”

The Head of State underscored that the legislation is comprehensive and will also ensure that revenues from the petroleum sector are managed in a transparent and accountable manner.

“Priority will be given to investments in human capital, particularly our public education system and key infrastructural projects that improve productivity and bridge the divide between the coastland and the hinterland,” Mr. Granger stated.

The President reminded that the green paper on the Natural Resource Fund was laid in early August.

To this end, he expressed the belief that it illustrates the Government’s push to ensure Guyanese fully understand the implications of the fund.

This, he said, was also to ensure that they are equally involved in the discussions as well as the management of it.

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