Now that the Government of Guyana (GoG) has been carrying out various infrastructural programmes in the hinterland in a bid to ensure the equal progression of the coast and the hinterland, Indigenous residents are on the move to get in on the action.

According to government’s Member of Parliament (MP) Mervyn Williams, there are several groups of persons who are now working to obtain compliance so that they can be recipients of contracts. He told the Guyana Standard that the government’s commitment to ensuring that small contractors benefit from 20 percent of the value of all contracts is the driving force behind indigenous communities moving in this direction.

According to Section 11:1 of the Small Business Act of 2004, at least 20 percent of the procurement of goods and services required annually by the government must be obtained from small businesses.

Last year, Cabinet had approved the programme’s implementation, and it was agreed that there would be a basic “set aside” measure for all government (goods, services and works) up to $30M.

“Villages are preparing themselves to be beneficiaries in that regard. They are preparing themselves in terms of becoming compliant statutory requirements so that they can present themselves,” Williams told the Guyana Standard at a People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) press conference hosted at Congress Place, Sophia, this morning.

Customarily, construction firms that travel to the hinterland would take their own workforce. Williams was asked to comment on the measures that are in place to ensure that Indigenous people access employment opportunities. He responded, “There are arrangements within the regional administration within regards to facilitation contact between Indigenous leaders of the villages – which are beneficiary villages – and the contractors who work out arrangements for employment opportunities.”

The MP provided also an update on some of the infrastructural works that are pegged to commence shortly. He reported that $27M has been assigned to extend the Mahdia Primary School, along with a $33M expansion project slated for the Chenapau Primary School.

Further to that, a road linking Mahdia with Paramakatoi will be built at a cost of $70M. Also, four “high-quality” concrete bridges are being constructed in the North Pakaraimas at a cost of $98M.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here