A country’s natural resources, such as oil, gas, metals and minerals, belong to its citizens. Extraction of these resources can lead to economic growth and social development. However, poor natural resource governance has often led to corruption and conflict. More openness and public scrutiny of how wealth from a country’s extractive sector is used and managed is necessary to ensure that natural resources benefit all.
EITI 2016 Progress Report
Last week’s article was devoted to a discussion of the issue of transparency in relation to the Georgetown Metered Parking project that has been suspended at the request of the Government amid pressure from key stakeholders. In passing, we had referred to calls from various quarters for the Government to release to the public the contract with ExxonMobil for the extraction of crude oil in Guyana’s waters. So far, the authorities have resisted attempts to do so, citing a 1997 amendment to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act that precludes it from making any such disclosure. We then raised the logical question that, if we are serious in our commitment to adhere to highest standards of governance, transparency and accountability, how difficult is it to secure a further amendment to the Act to enable the contract to be laid in the National Assembly, thereby making it available to the public? The Kaieteur News recently carried an article in which it listed 50 countries that have released their oil contracts to the public. ….