Guyanese passports, citizenship suddenly enormously valuable – Jagdeo
“We have to be careful”, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo cautioned during a recent press conference as he related how the Immigration Department and the government by extension were now dealing with a bombardment of requests for Guyanese passports and citizenship.
“Suddenly people coming in for passports.
“Getting Guyanese citizenship is now suddenly enormously valuable for many people.
“Some people who would never look back to Guyana in all these years are now looking to find a great grandparent who had Guyanese blood to get a Guyanese passport because there is value in it,” the Vice President related.
But the value Jagdeo speaks of has little to do with how the Guyanese passport is ranked internationally. It deals directly with how the benefits from the burgeoning oil and gas sector can be accessed by locals now that the government has enacted local content laws.
“The people of this country must benefit from the industry,” Jagdeo assured noting that the government will do what needs to be done to protect Guyanese individuals and businesses.
“We want to keep it like that and grow it in a way… not to be exclusionary but our people have to benefit and we will do whatever it takes,” he said.
The local content law specifies clearly who a Guyanese is in order to benefit from the oil and gas proceeds. The law also spells out what a Guyanese company is and mandates the percentage of Guyanese that must serve in management and the wider organisational staffing.
That law was passed in December and comes into force immediately, it is against this backdrop that Jagdeo spoke about the sudden rush for Guyanese citizenship and associate travel documents.