By Ndubuisi Michael Obineme
The Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Omar Farouk, has advised the Guyanese government to modify and learn from the mistakes of some African oil-producing country’s to reposition the country’s energy sector into the new realities of the global energy industry.
In his keynote address during the Guyana Basin Summit 2021 held virtually, Farouk said a country like Guyana shouldn’t make the same mistakes that these African oil producers encountered in growing their energy industry. While explaining that Guyana needs to modify its energy industry in a way of learning from other oil producers and taking into consideration the new realities of the global energy transition agenda to end fossil fuels in the next 30 years.
In his words, “Guyana is one of the world’s latecomers in the group of oil-producing and exporting countries. Not be the first or among the first has its advantages which is the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that earlier players committed that made them fall victims.
“But, entering the field late also has its challenges. Following the global paradigm shift in energy sourcing especially since the Paris Climate Change Agreement popularly known as COP21, world leaders have committed to ending greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the year 2050 which is 30 years from now.
“Coming late into the industry has some advantages where they can as well learn from the mistakes of others and thereby avoid making such mistakes. There are many areas Guyana should learn from other oil producers for their benefits. Among the key areas include; legal and contractual framework, regulatory framework, local content and capacity building, among others.”
He advised, “Those in whose trust the wealth of Guyana’s oil and gas industry is bestowed upon, should learn from the act of commission and omission of some African oil-producing countries.
“Do not open the doors of your economy to hostile importation of luxury items.
“Do not pander to the revolution of rising expectations. If the people of Guyana have lived without oil money all these years, this is a sacrifice worth making for the future of the country and its generation.
“Invest in what you can generate from your oil more especially in education.
“Invest in technology, artificial intelligence and all those things that will make Guyanese economy sustainable even in the absence of your oil wealth,” he concluded.