‘No Afro-Guyanese contractors left out’ – Min Edghill assures

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said Wednesday, that Afro-Guyanese contractors have been equally benefitting from projects awarded by the government.

The minister was as the time responding to a misleading article circulating online, claiming corruption by central government and regional executive officers in the awarding of contracts “to family, friends, and favourites of the PPP/C Government.”

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

“The first way I would respond to that is by letting the people of Guyana be the judge and jury on this matter. When you have more than 1,000 contracts only in roads that are being executed simultaneously…We are proud to announce that since we came to the office, there are dozens of new contractors who have been engaged and I can dare say every established contractor that has tendered for work and has engaged in the procurement process have been engaged once they met the criteria,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

The minister related that works are being accelerated due to the PPP/C Administration’s progressive development agenda that is being dubbed “family and friends” to blindside the people of Guyana.

The minister noted that no contractor can invalidate the government’s effort to contract Guyanese from various ethnic groups or backgrounds. 

“Afro-Guyanese contractors are having their fair share of work. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there is an Afro-Guyanese contractor that could come forward and say I have been left out, I have been neglected and not getting work, I don’t believe that that is the reality.”

To ensure Afro-Guyanese contractors were gainfully employed, the minister said the government deployed representatives from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to help register and process their compliances. 

This was done in the community of Buxton following an outreach led by Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Anthony Phillips in September 2022.

Through a similar initiative government awarded ten contracts to the tune of $84 million for infrastructural development in Victory Valley, Linden.

Some 76 persons from the community were employed.

However, the minister reported that a member of parliament, who represents the people of Linden urged residents not to execute the works.

“These projects are completed but a member of parliament told the people not to do the work you know why? Because then they can’t go back and tell the people that the PPP/C did nothing for them because the roads will be right in front of their eyes.”

Minister Edghill reiterated that all Guyanese are ‘family and friends.’

“So yes, the people in Buxton are now our friends and family, the people in Mocha are now our friends and family. The people in Linden are now our friends and family, and the people in South Georgetown are our friends and family.

“The people in Leopold Street are our friends and family and the people in Tiger Bay are our friends and family. The people in Albouystown are part of our friends and family. So, the PNC is admitting that people who used to be their supporters are now friends and family of the PPP/C, and that’s the way I will respond to this, ” the minister added.