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April 05, 2012
Sod turned for building of residence hall at IAST
Guyana Times

Mining companies operating here have been urged to be true to their corporate social responsibility as the sod was turned for the construction of the E Kamal Dookie Residence Hall at the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), University of Guyana (UG) compound headquarters on Wednesday.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud along with CGX Founder Kamal Dookie at the turning of the sod. Acting UG Vice Chancellor Dr Marlene Cox; IAST Director Dr Suresh Narine and Canadian High Commissioner David Devine look on

The facility will be built by Canadian oil exploration company, CGX. The hall will also bear the name of the founder of CGX Energy. The rig is currently conducting off shore oil explorations within the Guyana-Suriname basin. The building will accommodate visiting professors, lecturers and technical experts, who will be engaged in research in the various fields of study that are promoted at the IAST.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud told the gathering at the sod turning ceremony that “because of limitations of resources, we need to look at synergies”.?

He was referring to Guyana’s continued reliance on foreign companies for developmental advancement. The minister of natural resources stated that there needs to be a refocus on innovations and in doing so, the issue of corporate responsibility is imperative to success.?

Minister Persaud noted that Guyana has “the opportunity to benefit from the mistakes” of other developing nations which are resource rich, but capital investment poor.?

Persaud noted that corporate social responsibility was vital to the success of Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector, noting that Guyana is in a position to offer itself as a model that is focused on, environmental responsibility and sustainability, among other areas.?

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, David Devine noted that oil and gas companies have “immense accountability”, and need to be bound by their investments.  He called on CGX and the government of Guyana to “build a solid economic and social foundation” in which CGX as a private company and Guyana as a country can mutually benefit, and be held accountable. Devine noted that corporate social responsibility was based on “ensuring that benefits and revenues flow effectively into the economy”.

The high commissioner was adamant that “the drafting and implementation of a modern and transparent regulatory framework” that was reflective in health, safety, environmental and financial systems was one of the most integral issues constituting corporate social responsibility.?

IAST Director Professor Suresh Narine stated that while petroleum has been pumped across the developing world, it was rare that control was placed in the hands of the country of origin.   CGX Energy Inc Founder Dr E Kamal Dookie said he hopes that the hall would be of great benefit to the young people of Guyana, who CGX firmly believes, with the necessary education and training, would be able to provide the skills at all levels to the prospective oil and gas industry, and to all other sectors of development.?

Opposition Leader David Granger said, “the future of Guyana is in agriculture and mineral exploration”, and noted that corporate responsibility could either enrich Guyana as a whole or lack of could impede growth.?

“Any wealth coming from mineral services need to be reinvested into the human resources,” Granger told Guyana Times. The opposition leader stated that far too many scientists and skilled persons in the oil and gas sectors are from overseas, and this situation must change. Granger said social responsibility must be a priority if oil exploration proves fruitful. The IAST is responsible for industrial research in Guyana.



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