-as Government continues to show commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of Guyana’s oil resources
Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Senior Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh today presented Notification Receipts to the National Assembly of all petroleum revenues paid into the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) during the period 1 st April 2022 to 30 th June 2022, pursuant to Section 33 (2) of the NRF Act 2021. This notification was published in the Official Gazette on the 18th July 2022 and reaffirms the PPP/C Government’s commitment to greater accountability and transparency in the management of Guyana’s oil resources.
The Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Act 2021, came into operation on January 1, 2022, replacing the illegitimate APNU/AFC NRF Act 2019. One of the key amendments to the legislation is that the Minister could face up to ten years imprisonment if he fails to disclose the receipt of any petroleum revenue received by Government in the Official Gazette within three months of receipt of such monies.
It can be recalled that under the APNU/AFC Administration a US$18 million signature bonus had been collected by Government from ExxonMobil but had not been disclosed to the citizens. Further, former Minister Jordan had even denied ever receiving this sum until information came to light, exposing that the Ministry of Finance asked the Bank of Guyana to set up a special account in which the amount was to be placed. With the provisions in the new Act, a situation like this could never repeat itself.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which recently concluded the 2022 Article IV mission to Guyana in May-June of this year, commended the PPP/C Government on the amendments made to the NRF Act and the staff concluding statement highlighted:
“The recent amendments to the 2019 Natural Resource Fund Act set clear ceilings on withdrawals from the fund for budgetary spending and promote transparency in the management and use of oil resources. Staff praised the authorities’ thorough review of the 2019 NRF Act before making amendments, and the restraint in using any oil revenues before the passage of the amendments,’
The PPP/C Government will continue to manage Guyana’s oil resources in a clear and transparent manner, to the benefit of present and future generations.