$1 billion approved for the construction of Gov’ts Office Complex
A sum of $1B was approved by the Committee of Supply for the construction of the government’s office complex located at the new Eccles/Haags Bosch roundabout, East Bank Demerara.
The allocation forms part of the Ministry of Public Works’ overall budget sum of $236B.
Public Works Minister Bishop Juan Edghill detailed that the complex will feature four towers, 12 stories high with the capacity to accommodate 6,000 staff and other amenities.
The facility aims to increase efficiency by consolidating these government agencies into one location, thereby improving the delivery of services.
Responding to questions from members of the Opposition, the minister revealed that after much deliberation the government decided to change the site location from Eccles/ Mandela and the initial acreage of land from 10 to 20 acres to reduce traffic congestion and increase accessibility.
He said, “So…we would’ve had to ask the contractor after he would’ve signed his contract and was in the mobilisation stage to wait with us until we could’ve gotten that sorted out and his procurement process and so would’ve already kicked in so we were in a holding pattern”.
According to the minister, the land has now been identified and the signboard is already up.
“We are advancing with this project now. We apologize to the nation and the house for the delays but the delays are for the good for all of us because we want to ensure that what we are doing is to bring relief and not bring in struggle,” he advised.
Meanwhile, the minister revealed that the overall project sum is over $15B, noting that the ministry spent a sum of over $2B for the project’s mobilisation advance to contractor Caribbean Green Building Inc., in 2022.
“Which is in keeping with the standard bidding document and percentages to be paid,” said Minister Edghill.
In 2023, the allocation of $4B was requested by the contractor for supplies and materials.
He revealed, “We had to ask the contractor to stop bringing supplies and materials because it’s a pre-fabricated structure that will be going up. At this particular stage we are coming to the house in 2024 only for an additional billion dollars and the reason why we are coming only for a billion dollars is because we recognise that because of the delay, there is work that has to be done to catch up before we even come for more sums.”
Thus far, the ministry has acquired Vikab Guyana Limited, a local consultancy firm to supervise the construction of this major project.