The parliamentary opposition is fully aware of its role and functions and it is for that express reason it made known publicly why it was not attending the parliamentary tour of the CJIA expansion project.
We noted in the Guyana Chronicle on Friday April 27, 2018 letter columns, a letter signed by Mr David Patterson, Minister of Public Infrastructure that contains at least five blatant inaccuracies. We suspect in the mad rush for cover, having been exposed by an attempted charge on the public purse this is the attempt at damage control.
For clarification we have no knowledge of any member of the parliamentary opposition requesting a tour of the CJIA expansion project. Could the Minister tell the nation when and where that request was made and by whom?
The second blatant and deliberate offering of misinformation was the Minister’s claim that the “parliamentary opposition, in fact, had raised vehement protest following a visit to the project in January by the Cabinet.” This statement is a concoction. It is the most visible manifestation of desperation and it shows the APNU+AFC government’s mastery of the fine art of deception. There was never a protest, vehement or otherwise as stated by the Minister.
Could Minister Patterson tell the nation when and where this vehement protest took place and by whom? and point us to the evidence to substantiate this ludicrous statement.
Thirdly, the Minister continues to spew dishonesty when he stated that Mr Edghill had been invited to other “Tours” of the CJIA project and would have attended at least one of them. He could have simply said the truth, that Mr Edghill was invited once and he attended. Why go at length to convey the impression that there were other tours?
Continuing, the Minister seems to be annoyed over being made to account for his stewardship in the National Assembly, by saying my questioning there has been “deliberately obtuse.” The fact is, this particular Minister has always sought to obfuscate issues by bringing in red herrings in his answers and has now perfected the skill of talking much but saying little.
This current tour is nothing but a smokescreen, a shameless attempt to extract $346.5 M from the public purse to finance what was already paid and catered for, in the original “fixed price design and build contract.” From the figures provided by the Minister on financial paper #2/2018 one can easily do the maths and conclude that when this project was redesigned by the APNU+AFC administration, just on the alteration of moving from eight air bridges to two air bridges the contractor benefited from US$5M or in excess of $1B in avoided cost.
Bishop Juan Edghill, MP
Spokesperson on Public Infrastructure