Awarding ‘huge’ projects to inexperienced contractors is tantamount to having them “learn their craft” at the expense of taxpayers, says former Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson.
The Opposition Parliamentarian, in a recent Facebook post, lambasted the government for being “able to pass off” billions of dollars for road works to firms that have no experience in handling huge projects.
“In any other normal country, contractors gain experience from winning bids on small contracts, eventually gaining enough experience to bid for larger contracts. In Guyana, contractors are given huge projects to ‘learn their craft’ at the taxpayer’s expense, despite existing qualifying criteria to the contrary,” he noted.
Patterson referred to the most recent awards for the Eccles to Mandela Highway Project. Of the six contractors listed as benefiting from lots, he noted that three “have never tendered for, or won any road project in the last six years”.
Patterson listed MTSUL Construcoes Limited, M&P Investment Incorporated and Cobra Eireli, Aronco Services Incorporated and JS Guyana Incorporated as being beneficiaries of contracts valued at $364.4M, $471M and $352.4M respectively.
“Not one of these companies has ever built a pathway let alone a road in Guyana before these awards, yet they have been awarded $1.2B worth of roadways,” he said.
The Ministry of Housing and Water – Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on April 1, signed contracts valued over $2.3 billion for the construction of the first concrete, four-lane highway from Eccles, East Bank Demerara to Mandela Avenue, Georgetown.
The road works will be divided into six lots and consist of a four-lane road with dual carriageway of two lanes each and jointed reinforced concrete pavement in accordance with international standards. The project will commence on April 14 and is expected to be completed by December 10, 2021.
The scope of works for that project includes land clearing and drain cleaning; construction of 5.4 kilometres of earthen drains and 200 meters of reinforced concrete drains; construction of culverts; 2.8 kilometres of four-lane rigid pavement carriageway with two no parking lanes; installation of street lights and 12 heavy-duty composite bridges.