Nov 26, 2021 News
By Shervin Belgrave
Kaieteur News – Mohamed Enterprise on Thursday sought to set the records straight and defend why it has been so successful recently in winning quite a few multimillion construction contracts from the government.
The company came under the spotlight after it was awarded a $614M contract on Wednesday to construct a new Guyana Fire Service Headquarters along Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
Questions were raised about the company’s experience and whether it is qualified enough to undertake such a project. It was reported too that Mohamed’s Enterprise had placed the highest bid of $858M for the construction of the new GFS headquarters and was still awarded the contract for a sum of $614M.
This newspaper on Thursday asked the Company’s proprietor, Nazar Mohamed, if the government had renegotiated with him to accept $614M instead of the amount he had tendered. In response, Mohamed said that his company did not submit a bid of that amount and related that the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) made a mistake when it published the bids.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn who was part of the signing ceremony of the contract on Wednesday also related that he is only aware of the $614M that was in the contract document. Kaieteur News also contacted NPTAB for some clarification on the matter but was asked to write a letter to the entity’s chairman to verify whether or not it was an error.
Responding to questions about its experience in the construction field, Mohamed’s Enterprise stated in a press release that it is competent enough and has been in the construction business for some 30 years. “Our less touted projects included our own main office in Lombard Street, two state- of- the- art buildings for the ISA Islamic School, the Albouystown Masjid and countless homes for Guyanese in need of such space”, stated the company.
Mohamed’s Enterprise added that the experience it has garnered throughout the years has been applied to projects it has done in recent times. One of the top tier projects that it has completed recently is the construction of four major laydown yards that are currently being used by many of the oil and gas companies and tier one contractors.
The company’s Proprietor Nazar Mohamed said that due to current infrastructural boom in Guyana, his company had decided to venture out into the construction business and has been doing a good job, which has allowed it to be competitive in winning government contracts. Mohamed’s Enterprise, he pointed out, had recently built 20 elevated two-bedroom core homes within the contracted period for the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Ministry of Housing and Water.
In the press release the company noted: “We are also ahead of schedule on the construction of facilities at Lusignan Prison. Apart from meeting deadlines and producing quality work, Nazar Mohamed, explained that his company has access to “liquidity” or ready financing and does not have to wait on government to start and finish a project.
He added too that due to his company’s reputation, it is able to credit construction materials from local suppliers unlike other companies. These advantages, said Mohamed have made his company competitive in winning government contracts. The businessman continued that many might believe that one makes millions by winning these contracts but sometimes you can lose. He recounted that he had placed a bid for a recent government contract when price for materials was low. Mahomed related that that eventually he won the contract but by that time the price for materials had gone up and in the end he ended up losing because the government refused to go back to the drawing board.
Nevertheless, he explained, he still does his best because he takes pride in doing work for his country. The businessman promised that he will finish the new GFS headquarters on time and will ensure that it is durable and of high standard.
According to Ministry of Home Affairs, it will be a modern facility with sufficient space to house more equipment. Kaieteur News was told that the front of the building will be designed with double ply tampered proof glass for a modern look. The idea of building a new GFS headquarters was introduced by former Fire Chief Marlon Gentle who posited that it was necessary to decentralise the current headquarters located in the Stabroek Market area to improve efficiency. He had noted that the congested streets around that area would often delay its response to fires in the city. As a result, the government, in the 2021 budget set aside $1.9B for the construction the new headquarters along Homestretch Avenue and a smaller fire station at Eccles. Part of that sum was also set aside to purchase new fire tenders to boost the GFS’ services.
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