The contract between Guyana and United States (US) oil giant, ExxonMobil is to be made public in December, ending months of calls by various stakeholders.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said government made a “fulsome consideration” of the related matters including widespread calls for the 1999 deal to be released.
He said government was committed to ensuring transparency and has given into lobbying for the contract to be disclosed. “We also realise that there is a need expressed by our population for greater inclusiveness, for more information to be provided and we take those into consideration.
I said here on one of the press conferences that we listen to the people and we are not deaf to the concerns that have been expressed by various sections of our community and we believe that it is important that we take the public into our confidence with respect not only this contract but other contracts which might affect our dealings with other companies in relation to the natural resources, the national patrimony of Guyana ,” he said.
In relation to government’s previously stated concerns that disclosure of the contract would have had implications for the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, he said “that’s a non- issue which we will deal with an appropriate time”.
Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc; the local associate of Transparency International, Guyana Human Rights Association, opposition People’s Progressive Party and coalition partner- the Working Peoples Alliance are among entities and individuals who have called for the contract to be released.