An oil-producing Guyana must prepare for new security challenges – GMSA President

GMSA President Shyam Nokta

Precedent set in other oil-producing developing countries compel Guyana to contemplate the likely impact of the advent of oil as a factor that could exacerbate the country’s crime situation, President of the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) Shyam Nokta has said.

Addressing last Tuesday’s GMSA business luncheon at the Pegasus Hotel, Nokta suggested that there was precedent to suggest that shifts in economic focus occasioned by the emergence of an oil economy could bring about societal changes that could impact on the local crime situation. “Experience from other developing, oil-producing countries, including our neighbours, has shown that shrinkage of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors resulting in loss of jobs and economic opportunities in these sectors impose hardships on large numbers of people, often the poorest members of society…As Guyana moves into this new phase of development it is imperative that we learn from both the good and bad lessons,” Nokta said.

According to Nokta, threats to local and regional national security, not least the security of the business community could also be posed by the impact of ramped-up anti-drugs law enforcement actions targeting cartels in the wider hemisphere. This is forcing some of the big players in the illegal trade to examine ‘softer’ operating locations in the Caribbean, Nokta said…..