Oil companies have a responsibility to answer to the Guyanese people, the sovereigns of the oil they intend to exploit. So they must make themselves available to local media for scrutiny.
That is the opinion of Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
During a press conference last Thursday, he noted that ExxonMobil’s Senior Vice President in charge of exploration and new ventures, Michael Cousins, at a recent Town Hall meeting on Guyana’s Oil and Gas Development in Canada, told the Diaspora that 1,357 Guyanese have already benefitted from jobs.
About this, Jagdeo said “When they do these specific numbers, you know that we’re going to probably find, again that the person who sells them bananas at the market is included in this.”
What the Opposition Leader was referring to was an occasion last year, when ExxonMobil, after being challenged to support figures it had provided on its local content contribution, submitted a padded list which included Bourda Market, Haags Bosch Dumpsite, and Shanta’s Roti Shop among the companies it has contributed to.
Calls have picked up, recently, for a local content policy – and even legislation – to set targets for oil companies, ensuring that Guyanese are given the opportunity to benefit directly from oil-related operations.
Exxon makes regular claims about its contributions to Guyana and its people, but it is difficult to verify the truth and extent of its claims. Because of this, Jagdeo is adamant that oil companies should allow local media to scrutinise them on a regular basis.
“If you can go to Canada and send your people to speak in Canada… Why can’t they come to hold a press conference? Face our local media. It’s our oil. It’s our country.”
Jagdeo added that ExxonMobil is doing much to “hide” from the media here.
“You can’t hold a press conference here and take questions about this, and prove to them that Guyanese are getting all these jobs? I don’t know when last they held a press conference here, if they ever did, to answer all these questions. But they go to Canada to tell a forum there, how many people they’re employing. This is disrespect for us. Total disrespect for Guyana!”
Sep 21, 2019The inaugural Archery Guyana’s Seven Seas Indoor Championships 2019 was held on Sunday September 15that the National Gymnasium. Sponsored by Seven Seas, the competition shot off at approximately...
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