Ambassador Holloway yesterday appeared on a popular morning radio show, ‘Jumpstart’ on HJ Radio 94.1 FM, where he repeated his warning.
Holloway said he was impressed that Guyanese were getting oil smart but encouraged that they seek out the truth for themselves.
“I encourage everyone, experts and not, to continue to learn. A lot of stuff is available online including the contract, so I encourage people not just to take anyone, myself included, at their word to go out and investigate it and find out the truth.”
The U.S Ambassador first called out these ‘so-called experts’ during a business forum at the inaugural Innov8 Conference hosted by GTT – Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company. On the radio today, the Ambassador said that there is more than just gloom and doom stories from oil.
“When I see articles like that, I think, you could have also picked another 20 other countries that have been giant successes.”
Ambassador Holloway reiterated the need for persons to find out the facts for themselves, “cherry picking of data, whether it’s to sell newspapers or for political means, while that’s what you do … I will just encourage everyone to go out and get the whole story.”
He reminded that it is the government and its people who determine how the oil revenues are spent.
“What a country does with their oil money is entirely up to the government and the people. So, if the government is corrupt well then you could imagine the results you would get. So, while everyone should hold ExxonMobil’s feet to the fire everyone is going to have to, in the future, hold whatever government is in power’s feet to the fire.”
Oil revenue can provide “fantastic” education opportunities, security, food security and infrastructure “which is the single biggest thing that most Guyanese need,” the U.S Ambassador noted.
The government has received support from the United States (US) in the development of the oil and gas industry. The US had supported Guyana’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) bid and Guyana has since become a member of EITI.
The US has also provided advice to Guyana in the revision of its regulations as it prepares for oil. The country is also working with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on how to audit large companies.
Guyana is set to begin producing oil in 2020.
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