Even though a huge sum of money was already expended on the Sheriff Street/ Mandela Road Project during the APNU/AFC Coalition’s tenure in office, the project is still far from being completed and delivered to the people of Guyana.
The issue took center stage on Wednesday in the National Assembly during the consideration of the current and capital estimates for the Ministry of Public Works.
The road upgrade project is being funded through a US$66 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
It was revealed that GY$2.7 billion of the total amount has already been spent on the project. An additional GY$553 million was allocated in this year’s budget to complete the project.
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, belaboured the point that the project should have already been completed. “It was badly mismanaged,” he told the National Assembly.
The Public Works Minister explained that when the PPP/C took office in August this year, there was no work being done, adding that this was not due to COVID-19 alone. He noted that the other reason was because of non-compliance with environmental standards which resulted in the IDB being forced to cease disbursements to the project.
Edghill said that contractor is back onboard and works have since commenced to get the project completed and delivered.
He, however, noted that due to the deteriorating state of the road, remedial works had to done before moving to asphalting.
Edghill expressed that if the issue is getting specialists from China in the country due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has already assured the contractor that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is prepared to facilitate special charter flights to come here so as to ensure the work is not ceased.
“We will not use COVID-19 as an excuse for non-delivery of services to the people of Guyana, they deserve to have the road and we are working to have that,” he assured.