Berbice Bridge Company delaying toll reduction – says Finance Minister

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The Berbice River Bridge.

By Jomo Paul

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan. [iNews' Photo]
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.co,] – The APNU+AFC Government is accusing the principals of the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) of frustrating efforts of a planned reduction in the toll fee although a compromise was reached on the issue weeks ago.

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan at a post Cabinet press briefing on Friday, August 28 told reporters that the government is concerned that with the delay tactic being employed by the company, the agreement for reduced tolls as of September 1 may not be met.

He said that representatives of the government have facilitated several meetings with BBCI Vice Chairman, Ravi Ramcharitar for dialogue on the issue and at the last meeting, Ramcharitar indicated that the Board would like to discuss the issue with its shareholders before it is set in stone.

The Berbice River Bridge.
The Berbice River Bridge.

“It has taken the company over two weeks and several phone calls before an inconclusive response was finally received. Apparently, the Directors decided to place the matter before their shareholders. With September 1 fast approaching the government is concerned that these delaying and dilatory maneuvers appeared designed to frustrate the reduction in tolls and hold the travelling public hostage,” said Jordan.

The 2015 Budget provides a $36M subvention for the company which would facilitate the reduction; however Jordan stated that the BBCI would need between $120 to $140M in subsidy on an annual basis.

With a basic reduction of just $300, Jordan made it clear that this is the beginning of a phased reduction in the tolls.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED IF BACKWARD EMILE SUGGESTS THAT PEOPLE BUILD THEIR OWN CANOES AND PADDLE ACROSS THE BERBICE RIVER.

  2. EMILE , WHAT STUPIDNESS YUH TALKING? WHO GON WAIT FUH FOUR HOURS TO CROSS WITH THE FERRY WHEN THEY CAN TAKE THREE MINUTES WITH THE BRIDGE? IS SUH YOUALL WANT FUH RUN THIS COUNTRY? YUH LIVE IN AMERICA BUT YUH BACKWARD AS HELL,EMILE . GWAN DA SIDE WID YUH STUPID SUGGESTION !

  3. time, that is not possible. You seem to underestimate the traffic from the Essequibo coast alone much less the islands. Those two Chinese built ferries are not working to schedules. They work with the tide. Vehicles have to line up long before departure times and although two ferries ply the Supenaam Parika route, on many occasions they are full to capacity. The Malali plies Parika, Wakenaam then to Supenaam. Take away this ferry, Wakenaam is left with nothing as these Chinese ferries cannot dock at neither Wakenaam nor Leguan. Take away the Makouria which plies Parka to Bartica, the smaller ferry available will not suffice as the traffic from Bartica has increased tremendously. This current administration could get another ferry from its friends that put it into office. They have the resources.

  4. Please permit me to say that if hey refuse or using delay tactics just put one ofthe Essequibo ferry to run the Berbice/ New Amsterdam route. at a significant reduce rate.

  5. all the government has to do is increase certain taxes and impose certain restrictions on the bloody company giving them a tough time until they give the government and the Guyana people the bridge for 1 dollar Guyana.

  6. I say the coalition should leave the private bridge alone, demand NIS gets back all its investment, and restore the ferry service. Let Jagdeo, his best friend and kavakamites suck salt.

  7. What????? The so-called shareholders are not losing anything here; it is the taxpayers who have to subsidize the reduced bridge tolls that are the losers.
    The same taxpayers put money into the NIS, which Jagdeo raided as the majority funder of the bridge, yet the NIS collects nothing on its investment while the minority investors became the majority shareholders reaping annual dividends.
    The best solution to this eye-pass is to bring back the ferry, and if the corrupt and vindictive Jagdeoites sabotage the ferry service, let them pay dearly. And I mean DEARLY!!!!

  8. The coalition ears hard. Bring back the ferry service and end this Jagdeo-imposed Albatross called the Berbice Bridge.

  9. Let the bumbling installed dictators touch up on one private business and see the dominoes effect in action. Told you folks before that private business don’t like installed puppets since they only answer to those that installed the dictator puppets.

  10. What a pack of jokers, first of all the reduction is meaningless and second you guys don’t have the balls to deal with the former corrupt regime head on. So let the first five years go by and it will be bye bye weaklings.

  11. Ravi Ramcharitar must put it in front of it shareholders to vote on it before making a sound decision he a lone cannot make a decisions to drop the toll on his own mr. Jordon should know that by now they have to vote on it as it effect the shareholder. they can very well reject the government offer as well.

  12. Apnu build you own bridge at a more strategic location and charge less and give the travelling public the choice!!!

  13. ”……… the BBCI would need between $120 to $140M in subsidy on an annual basis”.
    The toll has been reduced by an average of $300. The treasury, and by extension the people of Guyana, the tax payers, have to fork between $120m to $140m yearly as subsidy to give back to the same set of people who own that bridge. What sort of economics is that? This set of people now in charge in running the affairs of this country will RUIN it instead. The country would end up just like the days when government employees had to wait weeks for their wages and salaries, month after month.
    ”Jordan made it clear that this is the beginning of a phased reduction in the tolls”. Mr Minister, do you think that the Guyanese people will fall for another trickery?

  14. IF THE GOVERNMENT REALLY MEANS TO REDUCE THE TOLL, THEY WILL EASILY FIND THE MONEY TO PAY THE SUBSIDY UPFRONT, AND TO THE FULL AMOUNT.

  15. Is the Minister complaining ? The fact that the private entity has not started must mean something to the learned and logical minded …. May be they need to distinguish between political rhetoric and voting baiting and fiscal sustainability…. or is that in short supply ?

  16. NAGAMOOTOO SHOULD BACK OFF FROM HIS OSTENTATIOUS LIFESYLE AND LET THE GOVERNMENT CHANNEL THE NINETY MILLION HE IS NOW SPENDING TOWARDS THE REQUIRED AMOUNT FOR THE BRIDGE SUBSIDY. FAILING THIS, GRANGER SHOULD FIRE HIM,PERIOD.THE FINANCE MINISTER SHOULD STOP MAKING THE BCCI THE SCAPEGOAT IN THIS MATTER. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ALWAYS FOOL THE POPULACE.

  17. The Berbice bridge is a private entity, therefore the government has to pay the full amount needed as subsidy. In any democracy the government cannot dictate for a private entity unless it agreed to by both parties and the subsidy is paid upfront by the government. What we have in the current administration is a pack of jokers who are dictators. They do not have any ideas on management, nor do they know what a democracy is.

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