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Foreign contractors of incomplete road projects fired

Foreign contractors of incomplete road projects fired
Road works being conducted by BRASGA in the Arnos Vale area (BRAGSA photo credit)

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The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), is seeking new contractors for road projects that were left incomplete after the firing of the foreign contractors.

Disclosure of this was made by prime minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, on WE FM’s ‘Issue At Hand’ programme on Sunday, May 8.

While making comments about the reconstruction of secondary roads across the nation, Gonsalves expressed his “great disappointment” with the roads project which is funded under the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, in conjunction with the OPEC Fund for International Development.

The prime minister said the company has “underperformed”, and, “they had not done what they were contracted to do.”

He said based on their performance, his patience had worn thin.

Gonsalves said as a result of the company’s underperformance, he wrote to the Kuwait Fund, and asked that “the contract be cancelled.”

He further revealed that after writing the letter, the contractors came and asked “for another chance.”

They did some work, and as a consequence, the prime minister, wrote again to the Kuwait Fund, withdrawing the letter which requested cancellation of the contract.

The foreign company was thus given a second chance, and allowed to continue working to upgrade secondary roads across St Vincent and the Grenadines.

But since they have returned, “though they have done some work, they have failed to do, not only what is in the contract, but what they agreed with us,” Gonsalves related.

After several meetings with him and other technical persons here, Gonsalves said their contract has been terminated.

He said he wrote to the Kuwait Fund two weeks ago, asking that the contract be terminated.

The prime minister described the situation as “unfortunate,” as the funds negotiated for the road works amount to over $90 million.

There are close to 30 secondary roads on which work is to be done.

The contractors from Kuwait have done some work at Lowmans and Calder.

Gonsalves, however indicated that some of the work was done by sub- contractors who are yet to be paid.

The prime minister further said he feels that by their actions, the foreign contractors have “embarrassed themselves and embarrassed the government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He said in some areas, portions of the road were dug up in preparation for the repairs but remain undone.

Gonsalves gave the assurance that the Roads Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA), will continue with some ongoing road repairs.

However, “in terms of that kind of work in secondary roads and village roads, we have to get another major contractor,” the prime minister concluded.

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