Pour oil money into education
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Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan takes a photo with panelists
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan takes a photo with panelists

— Professor tells UG’s 5th Conversation on Law and Society

VISITING President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Sarim Al-Zubaidy has told the University of Guyana’s 5th Conversation on Law and Society that investing oil revenues into education would help fuel further economic growth.

Guyana must also follow guidance from oil-rich countries so as to avoid their mistakes, Al-Zubaidy told the audience on Thursday evening while stressing that “education fuels economic growth…Build the local capacity and capability and ensure that you introduce your local structures into the final process so that you achieve the success of the successful countries.”

Al-Zubaidy also said Guyana must take full advantage of the contribution of the oil sector and use the revenue to transform the economy. “It is therefore imperative that the revenue derived from the sector be maximized and used for the transition of Guyana’s economy to one which is internationally diversified. This would ensure that the life is enjoyed by the future generation.”

A section of the audience at the forum

The professor, who is an engineer with over 30 years experience in senior academic and administrative positions, also mentioned that developing and maintaining a category of skilled professionals is also very important. From this, he said that the developed personnel should be in place before and after production begins so that the country is not dependent on what is said by the oil companies.

After the presentation, the conversation with the audience began featuring input from Al-Zubaidy, Trinidad and Tobago Methanol Company Chair in Petroleum Engineering Prof. Andrew Jupiter, University of the West Indies Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Clement Imbert, and retired US Department of Energy Engineer Dr. Vincent Adams.

The conversation revolved around the investment in education which would, in turn, bring about long-term sustenance. It was also said that the government must get the best deals in any production sharing agreement and ensure that parts of these deals have a substantial contribution to education.

Guyana was encouraged by the professors to learn from their country’s failures. Finally, the country received the advice to not only look at the revenue from energy but look at diversifying the economy and not to forget about our other resources.

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