CJIA Contractor’s snub angers APNU, AFC
A missive has been directed to China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) from the Office of the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition expressing anger at being snubbed by the Chinese Company during its recent visit to Guyana.
Zhongdong Tang and a team of CHEC Officials travelled to Guyana on Thursday last and told media operatives that the company has given to the Board, “the Ministry of Works, and the Government of Guyana explanations of the issues which have again been brought to public attention.”
He was at the time speaking to allegations of corruption leveled against the Chinese company by the World Bank.
The company has been contracted for the US$150M Expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport
The missive from David Granger’s Office said that, “A Partnership for National Unity being together with the Alliance for Change the Majority in the National Assembly takes umbrage at being ignored by your company on its visit to Guyana to review a Major Infrastructure Project as the CJIA Expansion.”
The strongly worded missive emanating from Granger’s Office but bearing the signature of Joseph Harmon says too that, “A full engagement with us would have ensured a better understanding of the project that could have conditioned our support for it, as it is, we feel that a major opportunity has been missed.”
He did sound the warning to CHEC that “as representative of the people we will continue to carefully scrutinize this project and any other project of such scale and magnitude as it relates to infrastructural works in Guyana.
Tang told the local media last week that, China Harbour also met and had open discussions with some civil society groups including the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Guyana Private Sector Commission.
He did say that it was not possible for CHEC to meet with all groups on the visit but sought to assure that the company will continue to be engaged with various groups of the Guyanese society, including residents living near the airport in particular, and the Guyanese public in general, as the project moves forward.
This explanation however has not gone down well with the Combined Opposition.
The Hierarchy in the administration has already indicated its commitment to the project.
A statement from the country’s Ministry of Public Works following Tang’s pronouncements said that “the government is fully committed to moving the project forward and has the highest confidence in CHEC to successfully undertake this initiative.
“The engagement with China Harbour Engineering Company arose out of its proven track record in large-scale infrastructure projects worldwide and, particularly, its regional projects in Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands and Guyana’s dire need to expand and upgrade its international airport facility to meet urgent demand deficits and growth requirements,” The Ministry said.
The statement said that the proposals from CHEC were evaluated over several interactions which took into consideration industry norms for such a facility upgrade and expansion inclusive of the requisite national costs for such a project.
The engineering team which evaluated the project included senior managers and engineers from the Ministry of Public Works and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation.
The contract for the CJIA Expansion Project was signed in Guyana on the 11th November, 2011.