Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 February 2021, 22:55 by Denis Chabrol
ExxonMobil and its partners, CNOCC/Nexen and Hess Corp, on Tuesday announced a GYD$20 billion development plan titled “The Greater Guyana Initiative”, saying that the money would not have to be recovered.
“I want to be clear that these initiative will be fully funded by the Stabroek Block co-venturers and will not be part of the cost recovery process,” said President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge at the virtual launch of the project.
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo later Tuesday reiterated that Guyana does not have to repay monies spent by the co-venturers on social responsibility projects based on their own initiative.
The partners said the 10-year development plan is part of its corporate responsibility and would target some government-run vocational institutions to build capacity across Guyana. He said the Greater Guyana Initiative emerged out of wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders and the public to ascertain how best the US$100 million could be spent.
He said ExxonMobil, and the Stabroek Block co-venturers would choose capacity-building projects to fund in consultation with local, regional and national stakeholders. “We expect these programs to align with the country’s overall development objectives, but not to duplicate existing efforts or funding, and we will seek out third-party experts, including NGOs, to implement initiatives and assess program effectiveness,” he added.
Mr. Routledge said during the past several months, the Greater Guyana Initiative projects have started at the University of Guyana, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, or TVET, and the Centre for Local Business Development, which has been critical to building local content in the past four years, has expanded its programming.
“Our goals and programs will evolve over time and include public health initiatives and activities in each region,” he said.
He said over the life of the initiative, he and his colleagues would be looking forward to sharing how these projects benefit people in Guyana and give people the tools to access new and expanded economic activities.