The Government and the Opposition are at loggerheads over past and present contracts.
In recent days, Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill, the Shadow Minister for Public Infrastructure has been going after Minister David Patterson for feasibility studies for a number of large government projects, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, the Minister has hit back, asking Edghill for his party to produce studies for a number of project done during the administrations of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
The PPP/C’s 23-year reign ended in 2015 after early election from a prorogued Parliament saw the Coalition Government entering office on a one-seat majority.
The five-year term for the Coalition has been threatened to end prematurely with a crippling no-confidence vote last December which has been dragged through the courts.
According to Edghill recently, in a letter to the editor, he wants the Minister to give him details of a planned feasibility study for a 188 MW natural gas-powered plant. These details include total investment cost, cost of the pipeline from offshore Guyana to bring the gas onshore and which company will be providing the natural gas offshore Guyana.
Edghill, a former Junior Minister of Finance, also wanted to know the cost per kilowatt per hour and the cost saving to the Guyanese consumer. He is also asking for the planned location of the natural gas generators.
The questions would have followed another letter from Edghill asking whether there was a feasibility study.
The MP had also questioned the feasibility study for a new headquarters of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority in Providence, East Bank Demerara.
Specifically, Edghill wanted to know what percentage of funding would have come from GCAA revenues and what percentage from government.
“Will this be a loan or will this be based on expected oil money?”
Edghill also targeted the incomplete US$150M renovations to the Timehri airport and the D’Urban Park “fiasco”.
“On the D’Urban park fiasco, the question is not if you gave what you think the Auditor General required, it is, have you given the AG an account for all the monies expended on this white elephant and is there full accountability and transparency as promised?”
He also questioned spending of the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
In a public Facebook post responding to a previous letter of Edghill on the same issues, the Minister was clear. He said there were feasibilities studies for the 188MW natural gas plant with funding for the new GCAA headquarters to come from their revenues with support from the Government – all to be done via public procurement.
The Minister said that for the $1B D’Urban Park, his Ministry had provided the Auditor General with all requested information relating to the involvement in this project.
“CJIA – the cost is the same as per the contract that your Government signed 14 days before the General elections in 2011. Demerara Harbour Bridge Feasibility Study – this was fully investigated by SOCU, whose findings were – “no misuse of funds, no evidence that a criminal offence was committed and no evidence of any collusion between Lievense CSO and staff of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.”
Patterson also took the opportunity to demand feasibility studies for a number of projects that the PPP/C had done.
These included the CJIA Expansion Project; the Skeldon Sugar Factory; the Fibre Optic Cable to Lethem; the Amaila Falls Access Road; the Marriott Hotel; the Pradoville II project; the High Street office complex; the Berbice River Crossing; the two Chinese ferries; the GPL Vreed-en-Hoop Power Plant and the submarine cable under the Demerara River.
“There is a saying “You show me yours and I will show you mine” – thus I am willing to meet at very short notice, in any public space, to produce my reports, provided of course, you are willing to do likewise and produce the above requested reports…”
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