Former Junior Minister of Finance, Bishop Juan Edghill, is calling on the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to explain why it made available some US$2.2M to an “unconstitutional” regime for the financing of a 150-kilowatt (kW) Hydropower plant on the Cheung River, Kato Village, Region Eight.
This inquiry comes on the heels of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure signing a contract for the design, supply, and installation of the facility. The contract was awarded to B & J Civil Works to the tune of US $2,251,880. Guyana Standard understands that the project falls under the Sustainable Energy Programme for Guyana.
Today, Edghill said that while the opposition remains supportive of this and any other initiatives that will advance the lives of our people, there must be transparency and accountability. He added that the contract was signed on Thursday, September 26, 2019, eight days after the government slipped from its caretaker status to “unconstitutional” rule.
“Therefore, the local office of the IDB needs to explain to the Guyanese people, why funds are being released to an unconstitutional regime. Is the local IDB office complicit in this illegality?” the politician asked.
He continued, “further, it begs to question if our international development partner is participating in this corruption scheme knowingly or unknowingly.”
Edghill’s call for an explanation comes on the same day when the United Kingdom (UK) High Commission indicated that “no decisions” have yet been taken on the disbursement of funds for other phases of two main infrastructural projects, including the Linden/Lethem upgrade.
The hydropower project is expected to run for a period of 18 months with 12 months of defects and liability period after the completion of the project. The objective of this project is expected to provide the remote hinterland community of Kato, inclusive of the government facilities and the Kato Secondary School, with a relatively cheap and reliable source of power that will result in livelihood enhancements. It was disclosed that homes that are located within the proximity of the distribution grid are expected to receive power in the initial stage of the project. Additionally, at the school, electricity will be available in the evening for the kids to read, write and study.