Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has issued a call for the Office of the Auditor General to launch a thorough investigation into the awarding of contracts for three major road projects which are currently ongoing.
Addressing the media recently, Jagdeo said that these projects include road works taking place at East Bank Berbice, Port Kaituma and Mabaruma.
The $1.2 billion East Bank Berbice road rehabilitation project commenced in August 2017 but was delayed due to the obligatory removal of utilities. It is now back on stream.
Also, some $213.2 million was awarded to KP Thomas and Sons in May 2017 for repairs to the Citrus Grove Main Road, Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini).
Meanwhile, a $110.2 million contract for the Mabaruma road project was awarded to Mohammed Ramzanalli Khan Construction. This project entails the installation of approximately 3,500ft of concrete road or rigid pavements and drains within the community.
Jagdeo alleges that the tender process may have been tampered with so as to inflate the contracts by hundreds of thousands of dollars in these road projects.
The Opposition Leader explained that these costs are hidden through a different form of corruption; through the layer of the asphalt.
He said, “The asphalt is very expensive. So, if they put one inch instead of two inches on the specification, that is about $50-60 million alone you can skim off the top”.
“They don’t like awarding the tenders out directly and even when they do that, it’s a lot of corruption. So, they are three roads that are mired in corruption… And we are very concerned about the AG’s findings into these matters,” Jagdeo claims.