Four Region Nine capital projects awarded in 2016 still incomplete

Dear Editor,

In late 2016 four capital projects in Region Nine were awarded to a coastland contractor. These projects are the construction of the Tabatinga Nursery School in the Municipality of Lethem, Baishaidrun Nursery School in Deep South Rupununi, Pipang Nursery School in the South Pakaraimas and Five Teachers’ Apartment Living Quarters in Sand Creek in South Central Rupununi. Each project was costed at $18M million.

It is public knowledge that the awarded contractor had sub-contracted these capital projects. The stipulated month for completion of the projects was May, 2017. Checks and follow-ups were made by the Public Works Standing Committee of the Regional Democratic Council of Region Nine as the work on these projects progressed. It has been revealed that the contractor had received final payments for the said projects, pending 10% retention, yet all four capital projects remain incomplete.

Editor, the opening of their new nursery schools and teachers’ quarters, respectively, in the new school academic year in September, 2017 was highly anticipated by parents, teachers and pupils and the collective disappointment is indescribable.

I call on the subject minister and relevant authorities, since they have promised transparency and accountability on public spending, to intervene forthwith in this matter so that the nursery schools and teachers’ quarters are completed at the earliest time possible.

Of major note and immense concern, is the fact that the Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs and fourth Vice-President, along with the Junior Minister within the Ministry visited the villages but chose to turn a blind eye to the incomplete nursery schools and stalled teachers’ apartment construction. The people of Region Nine have seen and noted that government ministers frequent, visit, lecture and make pronouncements, but that none addresses needs and concerns, or speaks of finding solutions to the existing problems of the villagers, but instead chooses to make glowing remarks in self-praise of the “good life” the people now enjoy.

However, some persons may be enjoying the ‘good life’, but at the level of the Amerindian communities, it is a different reality.

Yours faithfully,

A Charlie, MP

Region Nine

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