Small contractors flourishing under Gov’t – Jagdeo

-2,000 new contractors documented since 2020

Contrary to the racial rhetoric peddled by certain individuals regarding the award of contracts, the procurement landscape in Guyana has transformed dramatically with thousands of new, small contractors undertaking millions in infrastructural works for the government.

This was highlighted by the General Secretary of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo as he engaged media operatives on Thursday at Freedom House, Georgetown.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference on Thursday

Since the PPP/C Administration took over the reins of government in 2020, it has created an environment that allows small and new contractors to participate in the nation’s blossoming construction sector.

According to Dr Jagdeo, 2,000 new contractors have been documented from 2020 to date, representing the strides made by the government in creating these opportunities.

“If you look at the bids that we receive now in some of the regions, on a single project, we could receive a bid of about 150 bidders bidding for one project…. We have more Afro-Ghanese companies now than ever before, including under the five years of APNU, and that’s a fact,” Dr Jagdeo underscored.

One of the major restrictions hindering small contractors was the two per cent bid bond; a requirement compulsory for contractors to be able to receive an infrastructural contract.

A section of small contractors at a contract signing ceremony to undertake critical works in the village of Melanie North, East Coast Demerara

“Many small contractors don’t have the capability to do that. So, we removed the bid bond for contracts below $15 million. If you tender above $15 million, you [will] have to get a bid bond from the bank, but below that, you don’t have to…that encourages a large number of small contractors to be part of it,” he detailed.

For companies seeking to supply goods for civil works. They are not required to submit a bid bond for contracts up to $3 million. This has also paved the way for small companies to benefit.

In Sophia, Georgetown, around 70 small contractors are constructing concrete roads to the tune of more than $1 billion. Last year, millions in contracts were awarded to small companies to undertake critical works in Melanie North, an East Coast Demerara village.

This, he said, would have never occurred during the five-years when the coalition government was in office, who practically starved Afro-Guyanese and small contractors of opportunities.

“Under APNU, there was none of that. I know small people had to not just put up the bid bond, but…some of the ministers were trying to shake them down. We have now 2,000 small companies that have been established because of this,” the GS said.

He added, “All of this is to say to you [that] we are serious about ensuring greater accountability in this country. We have put in place the measures to ensure that that would happen, not just in the oil and gas sector, but in every sector.

Dr Jagdeo emphasised that the government, led by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, is working for the people so they can be able to realise their dreams and aspirations.

The government is undertaking a thorough review of the procurement system across all levels of government to ensure there is compliance with the law and that everyone is treated fairly.