During a press conference on Wednesday, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo told media representatives that the government is battling with foreign companies on matters relating to the Local Content Act.
According to the Vice President, many of these foreign companies are trying to undermine and bypass the requirements set out in the law in whatever way they can.
Jagdeo explained, "Some of them are creating shell companies, getting somebody who never been to Guyana for like the last 20 years or so. Grandfather might have been here and then coming in suddenly and helping to incorporate, trying to use every single thing provision."
Dr Jagdeo noted that some of them are even going down the legal route to bypass the preferences given to only Guyanese.
"We have a big battle with some of them trying to change the way they incorporate and trying to use legal means to bypass the preferences given to only Guyanese, and we have a strong position. You may see us ending up in court with a few of them."
He stated in no uncertain terms that the government would not allow this to happen. The National Assembly in 2021 passed the Local Content Act in December and was signed into law on the same day by President Ali.
Foreign companies are required to register with the Local Content Registry, submit a Local Content Masterplan and ensure maximum participation of Guyanese nationals and companies supplying goods or services in the oil and gas sector.
It is intended to ensure locals reap the benefits of the petroleum sector and build local capacity. The act outlines penalties for companies that fail to meet the legislation's minimum targets and those in breach. These fines range from low as $5 million to as high as $50 million.