Three years in…
Kaieteur News – While civil society groups and the political Opposition have continuously underscored the need for transparency and accountability to be the hallmarks of the multi-billion dollar oil and gas sector, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, continues to stay miles away from a press conference podium.
For three years, Guyanese have been waiting for such a forum, for the delivery of insights, updates, and explanations about the nation’s oil and gas dealings directly from the person entrusted with the management of this pivotal sector. Instead, the man who is charged with the day-to-day management of the sector has kept quiet, leaving the heavy lifting to be done by Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo who said he is only charged with oversight on policy.
Guyana, which boasts one of the fastest-growing economies globally, owes much of its recent prosperity to the boom in oil within the massive Stabroek Block operated by an ExxonMobil-led consortium. With this newfound wealth comes a responsibility to keep citizens informed and involved. Minister Bharrat’s press conference is therefore not just expected. Industry stakeholders say it is imperative to ensure citizens are informed about the government’s handling of key critical issues.
While Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, explores a number of issues within the oil and gas sector in his weekly press conferences, his broad mandate means he cannot delve deep into specific issues relating to the sector. Moreover, from his own admission, Dr. Jagdeo has said his insights are based on reports from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Industry observers therefore believe that the Natural Resources Minister as well as its Petroleum Unit has a duty to inform the nation on their day-to-day management of the sector over the last three years.
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