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$61M help for Guyana’s subscription to international extractive ‘watchdog’

first_imgThe Guyana Government is partnering with United States-based Carter Centre in its preparation to become a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) – an international body aimed at highlighting how countries manage their oil, gas and mineral resources.From left: US Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway, acting Prime Minister Carl Greenidge, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and Carter Centre Representative Jason Calder at the US Embassy following the announcement of the $61.3 million grantTo assist Guyana in its quest, the US Government has injected some US$297,000 (G$61.3 million) to help prepare Guyana for its membership to the extractive industries transparency body. This fund will be used by the Carter Centre during the 12-month project to assist Guyana, through the Natural Resources Ministry, with a series of programmes that will help the country to develop an acceptable candidacy for submission to the international extractive industries ‘watchdog’.The grant was announced by US Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway on Friday at the Embassy’s Duke Street, Kingston, location: “The scope of the grant is expected to assist the Government of Guyana to develop the candidacy documents required by the EITI Secretariat. I am confident this programme will strengthen the work of the Government of Guyana in promoting transparency in the country’s extractive industries at a time when Guyana prepares to welcome future growth in the petroleum industry.”Meanwhile, Carter Centre Country Representative, Jason Calder, outlined that the project is aimed at building capacity, reviewing laws and regulations, as well as working with the Multi-Stakeholder Group.“We are pleased to be working with Minister Trotman and his team to support EITI,” Calder noted, while mentioning that “the potential transformative impact that oil revenue could have if it supports a sound national development strategy. Central to such strategy are the systems for inclusive governance, transparency and accountability. This has not been the reality in many countries stricken with the resource curse – something we are certain Guyanese want to avoid.”On the other hand, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman posited that joining EITI is a show of good governance and will ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s extractive sector. Adherence to and implementation of EITI is important for Guyana’s economic and social development:“Guyana’s economy is heavily based on extractive industries and the country is soon to become an oil producing nation. These resources belong to the people and are none renewable and therefore we will need to ensure that they are managed judiciously.”Trotman continued that joining EITI will also see Guyana benefiting in various areas, particularly in improving the country’s investment climate – a signal to international investors that the government has a clear commitment to transparency and good governance, and strengthened accountability vis–à–vis the Guyanese people.Additionally, acting Prime Minister Carl Greenidge assured that government would pay close attention to the benchmarks set and which the Carter Centre will be monitoring during the course of the project.In subscribing to EITI, Guyana will have to form a tri-partite Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) drawing from government, civil society and the extractive industries to guide and oversee the EITI process.Moreover, the MSG will have to provide an annual report in which various types of extractive sector revenues paid by companies to the government are reconciled with those that government reports receiving.The extractive industries watchdog will also examine revenue allocations, intergovernmental transfers, company social expenditures, the process for allocating licences and contracts, identifying the beneficial owners of companies in the extractives sector, and documenting the impact of the extractive industries on the economy.last_img read more