‘Wealth from natural resources is not for any political party’ – Surinamese politician

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It is important that citizens reap the benefits of wealth generated from the extraction of Guyana’s oil and gas resources, according to Surinamese politician Chandrikapersad Santokhi.

“The people must not only see the wealth coming in but they must also feel it in their pockets and in a positive impact on their lives,” he told persons gathered at a fundraising dinner held by the Transparency Institute of Guyana Incorporated (TIGI).

Santokhi was the featured speaker at the agency’s fundraising dinner where he delivered his address on “Regulatory and government framework for managing wealth for the benefit of all.”

He pointed out that the monies earned from the sector do not belong to any political party but the people of Guyana.

“The wealth generated out of natural resources is not the property of any particular political party or government,” Santokhi noted. He added that “the wealth belongs to the people who should benefit from this resource directly and indirectly through effective, transparent, accountable management by Government and the assigned independent authorities.”

Speaking about corruption, the politician pointed out that progress for the people does not depend on the amount of natural resources present but in the way it is governed.

“The most fundamental determining factor for progress, therefore, lies not in minerals but in the quality of governance, regardless of the natural resources available,” he noted.

The politician noted that the ultimate goal must be to fight inefficiencies in the government structure.

Guyana has long been known for various natural resources including gold, diamond and bauxite. However, the returns from these sectors are not adequately reflected in the country’s development.

With the start of oil production in 2020, many fear that the country will face the same fate.

The Liza Phase 1 development is progressing on schedule and is expected to begin producing up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day in early 2020.

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