“Learn from our mistakes” – Trinidad warns Guyana on oil industry

first_imgGuyana has been warned of impending corruption within the oil and gas sector, after being told that it should heed Trinidad and Tobago’s mistakes and shortcomings.This warning came from Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) Chairman Dion Abdool on Saturday evening. In his address to the Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) annual fundraising dinner, Abdool called for an independent third party to be responsible for reconciliation and accounting of revenue and transactions.Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) Chairman Dion Abdool addressing the audience at Saturday’s dinner“This is of paramount importance, and there must be an independent third party looking at the revenue coming from the corporation that is extracting the oil and from the entity – the Government – that is receiving it,” he stated.Abdool proposed that the independent third party should be the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GEITI). “Like TTTI, the Guyana Transparency Institute sits at the EITI table, they must insist for transparency and accountability in the reporting of the revenue so that there can be no tax leakage. Learn from our lessons well in Trinidad; it will redound to your benefit,” the TTTI Chairman urged.Abdool’s suggestion came as a result of Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Minister identifying “tax leakage” as the reason behind a drop in revenue; this drop was initially thought to be caused by a simple decline in production.Additionally, Abdool urged that Guyanese be aware of entities within their own country, noting that “rip-offs” can come from locals, rather than just foreigners. As an example, he cited Trinidad’s recent experience of a fake oil scandal. He explained that an audit of the State oil company found that the country was swindled of millions of dollars within a few months.“In just a few months, they found that the volumes recorded by and reported and based on which the extractor was being paid were wrong to the tune of many, many millions of dollars. Learn from our experiences,” he pleaded.“Disclosure is in everyone’s best interest. The absence of information leads to mistrust. All may be well, but the mere fact that the information is not available leads to mistrust in the public’s mind.”Abdool said this to highlight that it was integral for data to be readily available in order to build and maintain trust between citizens, corporations, and Government.There are also plans to equip Journalists with the requisite training so that they could play a part in the anti-corruption cause.last_img read more