On January 23 this year, President, David Granger, signed the Natural Resources Fund into law but subsequent delays in setting up the Macroeconomic Committee has resulted in the fund not yet being operational.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Bank of Guyana (BoG) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Operational Management of the Natural Resources Fund (NRF).

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Finance Minister Winston Jordan said the move was done in the spirit of ensuring that full transparency and accountability are applied to the saving and spending of Guyana’s oil resources.

In order to fully operationalize the fund, it was explained that there are two other steps that have to be taken.

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“So, we have to go through the step required to establish that fund. This is one piece that indeed we have a basis of establishing the fund, another piece will be what will be our estimate and where the monies will be coming from,” Minister Jordan said.

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Bank of Guyana Governor Dr. Gobin Ganga said the MoU is essentially for the effective management of the day to day supervision of the fund.

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He noted that the agreement outlines the obligations of the Central Bank as the operational manager of the Natural Resources Fund, which includes receiving and accounting all deposits into the fund.

The governor said the Central Bank remains highly accountable and transparent and will apply the same to the Natural Resources Fund.

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“The MoU would clear any doubt in anyone’s mind in terms of how this fund will be operationalized…from the Bank of Guyana side, we acknowledge our responsibility and we will continue to execute those with respect to the NRF and to be as accountable as ever and total transparency to all stakeholders.”

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Other important aspects of the agreement include fees to be charged by the BoG, procedures for the appointment of private managers and custodians, and the liability for losses that may occur.

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On January 23 this year, President, David Granger, signed the Natural Resources Fund into law but subsequent delays in setting up the Macroeconomic Committee has resulted in the fund not yet being operational.

The NRF Act remains the only piece of legislation specifically for the oil and gas sector that was fully ventilated and passed.

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It creates the NRF fund and the oversight committee, which will save and oversee oil revenue for Guyana.

The full agreement will be published on the Ministry of Finance website. (by Samuel Sukhnandan)

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