CJIA expansion project to be audited – AG

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Auditor General, Deodat Sharma

With calls mounting for a thorough probe into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project, the Audit Office of Guyana (AOG) has confirmed that it will be launching a value-for-money audit as well as an overall financial audit.

Auditor General Deodat Sharma noted that he has the power to conduct the audit whether it is requested or not. And according to the AG, he is currently making preparations for the audits.

“I would be doing it on my own, because it’s a very important issue right now… CJIA is part of my audit portfolio,” Sharma told Inews.

In 2012, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, Guyana secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyana Government was slated to inject some US$12 million.

Upon completion, the Airport is expected to have four air passenger boarding bridges for arrivals and departures; a 450-seat departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to an extended runway catering for larger categories of aircraft.

However, the extension of works into 2019 comes in disparity to an earlier commitment by Government whereby it pledged that the works associated with the expansion would have been completed by the last quarter of 2018. Initially, the project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013.

Later on, officials were optimistic of the project being completed by 2017.

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