Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), David Granger yesterday assured the party’s congress that the coalition government is committed to managing oil revenues in a responsible manner.
Granger was at the time speaking at the opening of the party’s three-day 20th Biennial Delegates Congress at Congress Place, Sophia, which was attended by supporters from across the country, political partners that make up the coalition Government, and the diplomatic corps.
“Guyanese can be assured that the coalition Government will not be intoxicated by oil. It will manage this new resource in a responsible manner for the benefit of present and future generations,” Granger stated.
The party’s congress is the last such gathering before two significant national events in 2020 – general elections and the commencement of the production of commercial quantities of oil by ExxonMobil.
While not providing in-depth details about preparations for first oil during his speech that lasted close to one hour, Granger outlined that the coalition Government is conscious of the country’s inexperience and inadequate human resources in the new field.
However, he stated that Government has been prudently laying the groundwork for the petroleum sector to be managed in accordance with international best practices.
The Party Leader pointed to the establishment of the Department of Energy on August 1, 2018, under his ‘personal and direct authority within the Ministry of the Presidency’.
“This new Department will ensure that a sound organizational, operational, legislative and regulatory framework will be put in place to manage the sector. The Department is recruiting international and national experts to assist in this task. We shall establish, also, a Natural Resource Fund to ensure that the revenues accrued from oil and gas are used prudently,” Granger stated.
He called oil production ‘the most transformative economic development in our lifetime’ and pointed out the need for inclusionary political management.
“The management of this sector is best done under an inclusionary system, so that this valuable resource can be developed and used for the benefit of all Guyanese,” the Party Leader stated.
During the address, Granger stated that the PNCR has done more and gone far further than any other party in Guyana’s history to create ‘an inclusionary democracy’.
He reminded that the PNCR was instrumental in the establishment of an inclusionary five-party Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in June 2011 which was followed by the Cummingsburg Accord in February 2015 between APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC).
At the 2015 general elections, the APNU+AFC coalition unseated the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which had 23 years of rule.
“Our commitment to the practice of an inclusionary democracy has been vindicated, confirming the efficacy and necessity of the unique coalition that we created and which the electorate accepted,” the President said. He stated that the coalition has brought unquestionable benefits to the Guyanese people in every field and has allowed for the deployment of broad expertise to the task of nation-building.
“It has reignited hope and galvanized goodwill to confront the challenges which we inherited in 2015,” Granger noted.
This year’s congress is being held under the theme, “Better together for a brighter tomorrow” and has brought together delegates and observers drawn from party groups throughout the ten Administrative Regions of Guyana and the North American and UK regions of the party.
Among the highlights of the congress is the election of executive members of the party tomorrow. This year, there has been no public challenge to Granger’s post of party leader. However, the post of Chairman will see competition involving the incumbent, Basil Williams, Joseph Harmon and Volda Lawrence.
All the events will culminate with a congress rally which will be held on Sunday at the Stabroek Market Square from 18:30h (6:30 pm).
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