IDB rep says funds weren’t sufficient for ‘Safe City’ project’s command centre

Sophie Makonnen

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was unable to fund the construction of a command centre for the Safe City initiative, the bank’s Country Representative Sophie Makonnen said yesterday, while clarifying recent statements by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan who indicated that funding was pulled over concerns about Chinese firm Huawei.

“The Command Centre, which is part of the Safe City Initiative, is not included in the original design of the CSSP [Citizen Security Strengthening Programme].  However, the Bank received a request to fund the construction of the Command Centre under the existing Programme but following an assessment and given the sizable requirements of the Command Centre as well as the financial resources needed to make it fully functional, it was realised that the existing funds remaining in the budget of the Programme would not be sufficient to fully fund an operational Command Centre,” Makonnen said in a statement to Stabroek News.

Ramjattan, during an interview on April 8th on the 94.1 FM Jumpstart Show, had said that the bank was expected to provide full funding, but that changed after the contract for the equipment was won by Huawei, a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer. His comments were reported on by online media outfit News Source…..

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