The Natural Resources Ministry on Wednesday launched the Guyana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group, a body that will assess the work in the country’s extractive industry.
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said, at the launching ceremony at the Umana Yana, the Multi-Stakeholder Group is a new chapter in natural resources governance in Guyana.
According to him, the extractive industry initiative seeks to provide consolidated information on the country’s extractive sector in accordance with international standards, and aims at reconciling key resource revenue flows paid by companies with those received by Government
Trotman said Government has approached the initiative with transparency and openness, and with a recognition and acceptance and deliberate effort to enforce the truth that the resources of this country belong to every Guyanese in equal measure.
“We in Guyana made a deliberate step to distribute these seats equally among the tripartite body with four members and equivalent alternates for each sector. The Government will be represented by high-level officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the G-EITI will be chaired by the Ministry of Natural Resources,” he said.
According to Trotman, the initiative has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the Guyanese economy through increased accountability and transparency, translating into more informed public policy debates and guidance on managing resource endowments. It also has the potential to increase the confidence of business and enhance Guyana’s reputation as a sound investment destination, he said.
“This process joins a suite of initiatives that this Government has committed to, and is actively pursuing to strengthen public institutions and systems for managing resources and revenues from the extractive sector.”
According to Trotman, his Ministry has been identified by Cabinet to lead the process of implementing Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and has budgeted funds to support the implementation within Guyana, in particular for the establishment and functioning of the National Secretariat.
The G-EITI National Secretariat will be managed by the Natural Resources Ministry. Its responsibilities encompass conceptual and organisational support for the Multi-Stakeholder Group in order to ensure the successful implementation of all EITI requirements.
The Secretariat will serve a public relations function, encouraging contact with the EITI International Secretariat, as well as fellow national EITI Secretariats and will be managed by Dr Rudy Jadoopat, the National Coordinator, who was recently retained to support and guide the process towards EITI candidacy and thereafter, meet Guyana’s reporting obligations.
Trotman said the Natural Resources Ministry has made a commitment to pursuing openness, collaborative endeavours and to maintaining standards of transparency in every aspect of its work. The Ministry will be embarking on an outreach programme across the country to inform and engage the general public on all matters of importance and interest within the natural resources sector.
“It is an exciting time in our country and this launch of the G-EITI MSG takes us one step closer to achieving goals long set, and developing a culture of openness and unity of purpose that will only bode well for the development of a Guyana we can all be proud of – sustainable, prosperous and free. Next stop is EITI candidacy and the development of a road map to achieving compliance with global standards. We look forward to working with industry and civil society and our development partners to achieve these goals. We are in this process, truly together. Congratulations to the G-EITI, and thanks for your continued support”, Trotman said.