Jun 09, 2012 News
After his administration secretly inked an agreement with a Chinese Contractor in Jamaica, for the US$150M expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), former President Bharrat Jagdeo is now backpedalling, in the face of damning World Bank revelations.
Jagdeo, who had adamantly defended the decision to enter into a contract with China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), is now calling on his successor, President Donald Ramotar, to review the contract.
Jagdeo’s position, now, is that the World Bank pronouncement on the Chinese contractor “should not be taken lightly.”
He is urging Ramotar to seek explanations from the Chinese Government about the conduct of the company.
This Government to Government route has been suggested given that CHEC is ultimately owned by the Chinese Government.
The former President’s utterance as it relates to his new position for a review of the project is purportedly premised on the need for “value for money” as well as to weed out any possible illegalities that may be uncovered.
Jagdeo has also informed that based on whatever responses would be garnered from the Chinese Government, Ramotar, “on the basis of the explanations given, should make a decision on the project’s feasibility”.
Jagdeo is still, however, contending that “what is important is that the new CJIA gets built, since its expansion is important to Guyana’s development…It is in this context, that it is important too, that Guyana secures the Chinese Soft Loan for the project.”
The Chinese contractor is currently also under fire in Jamaica after a probe revealed suspicious discrepancies in relation to a US$400M contract awarded there.
It was as a result of this probe that the Jamaican Contractor General, Greg Christie, had cause to highlight the fact that the parent company has been debarred by the World Bank for corrupt practices.
It was subsequently also revealed, that the same contractor which the Jagdeo administration inked the deal with and its parent company, China Communications Construction Company Limited, caused at least one Chinese official to be sentenced to death as a result of kickbacks paid.
The Chinese business executive was handed the death sentence for taking bribes.
The previous day, this publication reported also that the son of a former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was last year jailed for laundering millions taken in bribes from this same contractor.
Guyanese learnt of the secret signing between Jagdeo’s representatives and the Chinese contractor now under fire, only after the story broke in the Jamaican media.
This investment is the second largest Guyana would be making behind the still to be adequately functional US$200M Skeldon factory.
This was also built by Chinese contractors.
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