GEORGETOWN, GUYANA – Thousands of Guyanese are already seeing the benefits from the oil and gas sector directly or indirectly, says Finance Minister Ashni Singh.
Currently, most of these benefits are related to Regions Three and Four, but this is expected to change soon.
“It is for that reason that we have committed ourselves to ensure that the economic development that will flow from oil and gas is geographically decentralised,” Singh said.
According to him, this was the reason for the President’s announcement of major investments in Berbice, such as the new commercial centre, as well as plans for co-investments in other regions of Guyana.
Singh told DPI, “We want to make sure that in those regions too, the positive consequences of the oil and gas sector are visible and are felt. We want young people in Berbice, Essequibo, Linden, and all of our hinterland regions to see and experience and participate in, and benefit from, what’s happening in the oil and gas sector.”
Speaking about ways in which citizens are benefitting, Singh said: “The benefits of the oil and gas sector are already being seen through multiple channels, through the jobs that are being created, through the private sector expansion that we are witnessing, and through the public expenditure that we are able to incur as a result of the expansion of the economy, and as the result of the mobilising of our oil revenues.”
In addition, hundreds of young Guyanese are either employed by ExxonMobil or one of their many contractors and have received training both locally and internationally.
According to the minister, onshore companies such as Guyana Shore Base Inc.,Saipem, SBM Offshore, Baker Hughes Guyana, and others continue to employ and train Guyanese.
“All of these are major international companies. They are big players globally, they have come to Guyana, they have established operations; they are recruiting Guyanese people; they are training Guyanese people and Guyanese people are accumulating expertise, and that expertise will redound not only to their benefit today, in terms of the job that they are doing, but will redound to their individual benefit in the long term.”
In addition, providers of goods and services are benefitting.
He also mentioned that the Natural Resources Fund and allocations from the 2022 budget have laid the groundwork for major transformational projects.
“We are planning a major infrastructural transformation, major highways, including the Linden to Mabura Road and the 32 concrete bridges from Kurupukari to Lethem, the overhaul of the Corentyne highway, the new Demerara River Bridge, and the gas to shore project,” Singh noted.
Furthermore, the senior minister is urging Guyanese to prepare themselves to benefit from the opportunities by taking advantage of the skills and other training opportunities that the government is providing.