$600M allocated for advance mobilisation of 48 road projects

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill
Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill

The Ministry of Public Works has secured $600 million through Monday’s $17.4 billion supplementary budget to fund much-needed roadworks.

Defending the allocation, Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill, said the sums that were being sought were mainly to pay the advance mobilisation to contractors for 48 of 100 road projects.

Minister Edghill told the National Assembly that the roads to be done are miscellaneous roads, which are those located in communities rather than main thoroughfares. The works have been prioritised, after consultations between the Ministry, the Regional Democratic Councils, the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, and other community leaders.

“Every single region is receiving attention from the Ministry of Public Works as it relates to the upgrades and rehabilitations of roads,” Edghill was quoted by DPI as saying.

Minister Edghill said he will ensure the invested taxpayers’ dollars are spent in a transparent manner, in full compliance with the country’s procurement laws and best practices, DPI reported.

The Minister said Permanent Secretary, Mr. Vladim Persaud, and other staff, “have all been briefed and instructed that the issues that arose in the 2019 audit of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure of monies being spent without proper authority will not be a repeat under my watch in the Ministry of Public Works.”

In recent weeks, Minister Edghill has visited key road projects in Regions One, Two, Four, Five, Six and Ten to assess the pace of works undertaken by the contractors.

During those engagements, he urged contractors not to use the Christmas season as an excuse for delayed works.

He also advised residents and community leaders to remain vigilant over the roadworks that are being done to benefit them.