National Contractors criticized for substandard work; Ministry to provide assistance to improve capabilities

Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn
Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn

[] – Public Works Minister Robeson Benn has observed that national contractors continue to deliver shabby works but says the administration is working to help them improve their capabilities.

Benn said in 2014, at the policy level, particular attention was paid to the issue of developing national capability in all the things that are undertaken by the Ministry and its agencies.

“This is a policy position that we have taken. It has resulted in our training and encouraging and taking on as staffers. At all agencies we have trained in all sectors, but critically with respect to creating, developing and facilitating a thorough going, safe, efficient sustainable national heavy construction contracting capability.”

He added that there were some difficulties with respect to national contractors, those who are involved with sea defence and major road projects including, the East Coast and East Bank road projects.

“We have been wrestling giving all the other issues with respect to developing our contractors and having Guyanese contracting firms do the work which otherwise would have been put out there in the international market for foreigners to do.”

The Minister noted that when Guyanese firms develop the capabilities and are facilitated, it redounds to the benefit of the nation as the money is spent locally and provides a stronger stimulant and energises the economy.

“So the policy position we have taken with respect to fostering, facilitating, and developing our national contracting capability is a significant one, and one which we have been pursuing.”

Along with that, Minister Benn said the Ministry had the challenges of working along with the national contractors with respect to executing in the way the Ministry wants projects to be done in an internationally recognised way, with respect to safety, quality, efficiency, and timely delivery.

“We will continue to work in relation to improving the learning curve of those contracting firms, with respect to undertaking these projects because we have taken the leap of faith and we intend to make sure that Guyanese contracting firms at the level of major projects, will continue to do most of the work with respect to developing our national infrastructure for public works.”






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