Guyana | Feb 26, 2023

Guyana suspended from extractive industries group

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Guyana has been suspended from membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) because it has run afoul of reporting rules.

The Norway-based authorities say the suspension took effect from February 17 as a result of a lapse in its required reports in recent months. However, there was no official announcement until civil society groups leaked the information.

After Guyana discovered world-class offshore deposits of oil and gas back in 2015, the then coalition administration moved to become a member of the EITI, which keeps a close eye on the governance of countries with such sectors. There are more than 50 countries that EITI members and they are supposed to submit timely reports on the operations in extractive industries, be it gold or diamond mining, harvesting of forests, oil and gas exploration or others like bauxite, quarrying, fisheries and related sectors.

Reporting details must include information on the entire industry value chain, how extraction rights are awarded, the way money is earned by governments and how it is channeled to citizens. EITI looks at sustainability issues and corruption among other transparency issues.

Guyana disappointed

It appeared to be all smooth sailing after the CARICOM country gained membership back in late 2017 with compliance being deemed as acceptable. Clearly embarrassed by the move, the Irfaan Ali administration in Guyana says it will launch an investigation into the missteps. Guyana last submitted an EITI report on operations in its extractive sector back in 2019.

“I have made it very clear that I would not tolerate delays in the presentation and submission of our reports. The only desire of this government is to have a strong monitoring framework.”

Dr Irfaan Ali, president of guyana

In a national address this past week, Ali advised: “In relation to the EITI Report, I have already made it clear that it is unacceptable to have a delay in the submission of our report. Notwithstanding the fact that an extension was given by EITI Secretariat to May this year, to have that report completed by May this year, we still should have been in a position to have that report submitted.”

Continuing, Ali said: “I have made it very clear that I would not tolerate delays in the presentation and submission of our reports. The only desire of this government is to have a strong monitoring framework.”

Guyana asked for more time

Government officials said that Guyana had asked for additional time to meet the deadline but the EITI had deemed the reasons for the request not to be valid enough to warrant any additional time. The reports are compiled by local officials and civil society members being part of a multi stakeholder group relating to headquarters in Norway.

Guyana, now producing nearly 400,000 barrels of oil daily thanks to an ExxonMobil-led consortium producing offshore, was required to complete its latest report by the end of last year but missed the deadline. Ali appeared to blame civil society representatives for not fully cooperating with the rest of the local team, noting that “this begs the question, whether there are persons on that group with ulterior motives. It is not after four months that we were able to have the report agreed upon with two persons abstaining”.

Oil and gas apart, Guyana is also a major producer of gold with nearly one million troy ounces being produced annually. Bauxite is also mined through Chinese company Bosai Minerals, while there are both local and foreign firms exploiting forestry and fisheries resources.


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