A significant portion of the $100 M grant which the University of Guyana secured last year as part of Government’s effort to help the institution establish an Oil and Gas programme, has been expended.
Last year, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the University of Guyana (UG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a $100 million philanthropic education grant for the period 2017-2018.
The grant provided the University of Guyana’s, Faculty of Technology with much-needed equipment for its geology labs, curriculum development, training, outreach, and field research, all linked to the emerging oil and gas sector.
It also provided specific allocations for all other faculties for student-centered enhancements at the university.
Speaking about the programme, Vice Chancellor of UG Professor Ivelaw Griffith explained that this is one of the university’s most significant grants, with the GGMC.
Griffith said that it is an investment by the Government in the institution, in an area critical to the nation’s economy.
He said that the project is a result of UG long-standing relationship with GGMC.
He highlighted the fact, that many of the commission’s staff through scholarships has received their higher education at the institution. To date, 87% of the finances have been pumped into realising UG’s oil and gas programme.
Some $55M was used for equipment and supplies to the Faculty of Technology’s laboratories, pursued by the GGMC,
Some $10 M was expended on training; some $16M was for infrastructural projects through UG.
When Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, handed over the first tranche of the funds ($45M) to the Vice Chancellor last year, he noted the government views the initiative as an investment in education, and development.
The minister noted that the project is significant since “it represents a renewed and enhanced relationship with the Ministry and GGMC with the University of Guyana,” even as the oil and gas sector develops.
Additionally, Trotman said that similar efforts are also needed in the gold and diamond mining sectors as they will not be neglected in the period, post-2020 when oil production begins.
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