Partner in Guyanese law firm Hughes, Fields and Stoby, Nigel Hughes on Thursday called the third batch of TOTALTEC oilfield operator graduates “pioneers” of Guyana’s nascent oil and gas industry and said that they will be a part of the success that will come to the country as a result.
Delivering the feature address to the graduating class, Hughes said however that this success will also bring with it a rush of persons from various countries to these shores and unless Guyanese remain committed and united, then they could lose out on the opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Some 27 persons, inclusive of four women, comprised the third cohort of trained oilfield operators who underwent a rigorous nine-week programme which included slinger/banksman safety operations, health and safety, working at heights among other skills. The fourth batch will commence their training in January next year.
“You are at the start of it…you are fortunate to have come at a time when nobody else was as bold as TOTALTEC to take the step that they have taken. I am sure that over the next two to three years, particularly after oil starts pumping in 2020, you will see a rush to Guyana that is unprecedented,” Hughes said.
According to the Attorney-at-Law, notwithstanding which political course the country takes, the revenues from oil will be significant. “The future is going to be good…roads, railroads, bridges will come. The real challenge you face – and which will also be a great opportunity for you – is what you do with it,” he said.
He challenged the graduates to put themselves into a position where they are so qualified that they are in demand not only in Guyana but also internationally.
Hughes cautioned the graduates not to get dissuaded by the negativity of the ongoing debates. “Do not bother with the naysayers who say the future will not be bright…your future will be bright, but what I will say to you is that the responsibility on your shoulders is also greater than it has ever been on any other generation,” he said.
Lastly, Hughes cautioned the graduates about the need to be unified behind their country, warning that foreigners can come in if there is division. “There are lots of talk about Trinidadians coming in to take over. Nobody can come in to take over unless you allow them to take over and the way you [prevent them from taking over] is to always ensure that you are ahead of the pack,” Hughes said.