Wide consultations for private sector rep. on oil fund Board- PSC Chairman promises

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There will be wide consultations across the local private sector to select the single private sector representative expected to sit on the newly-proposed Board of Directors of Guyana’s Natural Resource Fund (NRF).

This was the assurance given by the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Paul Cheong, at the sidelines of a recent event.

As per the proposed amendments to the NRF Act, a new Board of Directors, comprising three to five members, could manage Guyana’s oil wealth fund. Notably, the amendments specified that one of those members shall be a representative of the private sector.

This Board of Directors is being proposed as part of efforts to distance the management of the fund from ministerial influence. As such, no Member of Parliament can be part of this Board.

And the amendments explicitly stated that the directors shall be selected from among persons who have “wide experience and ability in legal, financial, business or administrative matters”.

With this criteria proposed, Cheong said that the selection of the private sector representative has to be discussed.

Importantly, the Chairman emphasised, “We have to let the process be as wide as possible, and we have to get the whole private sector.”

The PSC had been part of the government-led engagements on the amendments to the NRF Act and the new Local Content Bill, which is another key piece of legislation to help manage Guyana’s nascent oil and gas industry.

After the amendments were tabled in the National Assembly, Cheong highlighted that the PSC had advocated for greater inclusion in the management of the sector.

“We always want to be involved, in every aspect of Guyana we want to be involved and play our part,” he said, arguing that the private sector is necessary to help advance Guyana’s development.

Meanwhile, in a recent invited comment, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that the members appointed will be people of integrity, who possess the necessary expertise to manage an oil wealth fund.

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