Reggae Boyz and Leicester City captain Wes Morgan is hoping to continue his finest year in football to date with the Reggae Boyz as he rallies Jamaicans to help the national senior team to victory over Costa Rica next month in their key World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium.The Jamaicans will face off against a strong Costa Rican outfit on Friday, March 25, with the aim of pushing up the table after losing their opener to Panama (0-2) before their close 1-0 win over Haiti.Jamaica sits third in Group B with three points, with Costa Rica leading the way with six, followed by Panama on three and Haiti without a point.”I am asking the Jamaican people to come and support the Reggae Boyz and help us in our conquest to try and qualify for the World Cup,” said Morgan, who has captained Leicester City to the top of the Barclays Premier League.Morgan was speaking via a recording played at the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) secretariat yesterday.”We need you guys to come to the Stadium and make as much noise as possible and give us the drive and determination to perform and give our very best. We need you all there, so the more the merrier. Please come and support us. We need you guys, and, of course, see you guys at the game, and all the very best,” he said.
Director of Energy, Mark Bynoe…acknowledges political situation will cause legislative delayThe Director of Energy, Mark Bynoe, has revealed that the long-awaited Local Content Policy has been submitted to the Department, which in turn will be submitted to Cabinet. He was, however, quick to note that with the political situation with Government, there will be a delay on the policy being enacted to legislation.At present, Guyana has a caretaker Government after the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that the APNU/AFC Administration toppled after the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed on December 21, 2018.In an interview with Guyana Times on Saturday, Bynoe was reluctant to give further details but would only say that a “press conference” would soon be scheduled to answer further questions relating to the policy.The Department held a press conference in May where Bynoe had expressed the hope of having the consultancy phase completed by June.The Government’s Energy Department Head had assured that the document would be ready before first oil, which is now due in a matter of months. This commitment was given more than three years after oil was first discovered off Guyana’s coast by United States oil giant ExxonMobil.Meanwhile, only recently, acknowledging that the passage of the No-Confidence Motion would delay the full implementation of the necessary frameworks ahead of first oil slated for early 2020, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Nicholas Boyer posited, however, that the governing coalition had sufficient time to put systems in place, especially since oil in commercial quantities was discovered simultaneously when it entered office over four years ago.“I don’t think we have the time but I think we should have been doing this from a while now because these things have been talked about for a year or two now. We can look at the date that the Petroleum Bill was laid over, we can look at the date the first consultant, Anthony Paul, was hired for the draft Local Content Policy. These didn’t start yesterday. So if I had to say if are we doing a good job in terms of implementing, [I’d say] no because we spent money, we’ve taken action and we failed [to put key regulatory infrastructures in place],” Boyer told reporters on Wednesday.Meanwhile, former Private Sector Commission Chairman, Desmond Sears spoke about the fact that there is need for a stronger Local Content Policy as the draft legislation is still missing key elements as to how it will achieve its goals.According to Sears, the need for local content policies and practices being embedded within the legislative framework is critical at this point, given that oil production is expected within a few months’ time.Although the importance of this legislation cannot be underscored enough, he mentioned the inadequacies of the current draft, prepared by the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Energy.However, as important as the legislation is, he pointed to the equal prominence balance would take, given that a strong LCP can scare away investors.Like the Private Sector, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party has also blasted the Government for its failure to have this key piece of legislation produced.The Local Content Policy will guide the State in guarding against local companies being bypassed for contracts and services with foreign companies and workers being favoured.The draft Local Content Policy has been criticised for lacking provisions which would safeguard against exploitation by companies. It had been reported that the document does not cater for issues such as how to avoid procurement fraud, conflict of interest and favouritism, among others. (Davina Ramdass)