Home Top Stories 6 million tonnes of aggregates needed for 2023 road projects – VP...
…says Govt working to fulfil, sustain infrastructural demands
Massive road projects for the public sector in 2023 will require a whopping six million tonnes of aggregates and while this is viewed as a positive sign, the government is now faced with the challenge of meeting these demands.
This was according to Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo while addressing a gathering at the launch of the part time jobs in Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) on Friday, where he shared that apart from the public sector’s demand, the private sector will also require significant aggregate resources.
At the national level, the country can produce about 600,000 tonnes, representing just 10 percent of the demand. For this, he shared that government is exploring various options to keep the construction sector going. Neighbouring countries such as Suriname and Trinidad are also unable to fulfil these needs.
“We need next year, about six million tonnes of crusher-run and stones for the road programmes. That’s the public sector alone, leaving out the private sector, all the buildings and construction. With the new quarries coming on stream, we’ll probably be able to produce 10 percent of that, about 600,000 tonnes. We need 10 times more quarry products that we can produce…We may have to explore bringing in stone from Canada or some other part of the world if we want to keep the building programme going for the government sector,” Jagdeo shared.
In 2023, the Ali-led administration will be focusing heavily on community infrastructure, having mobilized major projects within the last two years. As such, the Vice President pointed to the immediate need for labour and material in adequate proportions.
“Now, we’re going back to the roads in the villages and towards the city to start fixing those up but we need aggregates. You can have a big programme but you don’t have material and labour to implement the programme. And that has become a challenge here.”
According to the Vice-President, Government is driving a diversified economy so that the future source of wealth and employment will come from other sectors. He reminded that the job opportunities will be generated mostly from the non-oil sectors. The hospitality sector and services sector, he noted, will demand thousands of jobs to support the oil and gas, along with an expanding economy.
“The oil and gas sector may bring in more money and more revenue but it is not going to create a lot of employment…If you look at what is happening outside of the oil and gas industry now, we have seven new hotels under construction. They will need about 3,000 people to work.”
“This has already started to put a strain on our labour market. In some parts of the country, we can’t find labourers. The private sector can’t find labourers. They want to bring in labourers from abroad. In other parts of the country, we have a surplus of labour. So, we have to have a balanced policy and allow some of the labour to come in. If we don’t, we’re not going to get some of the big projects implemented,” Jagdeo added.
Jagdeo pointed to such projects that will change the landscape of the country and people’s lives which includes the four-lane road from Crane to Schoonord in Region Three; a four-land Demerara Harbour Bridge; a four-lane road from Georgetown to Diamond; a four-lane road from Ogle to Eccles; the four-lane Diamond bypass road to Timehri; a four-lane road from Georgetown to Mahaica. He also spoke on the seven new hospitals, and seven internationally branded hotels that are on the card.
Over 60,000 applications are the system for approval of house lots, amid a continuous demand for land in the country. Jagdeo spoke on the lacking housing policy and infrastructure to support land allocated under the APNU/AFC, in contrast to the surplus of 20,000 lots allotted by his government since 2020.
The VP emphasized, “If we don’t have a long-term vision of Guyana, a lot of the improvements we see now, we will not be able to sustain. That is what has always characterized the People’s Progressive Party. We have always planned for the long term. We make investments into things that you will not see the return on today but will change people’s lives in a dramatic way in the future. We believe that our country, with the advent of oil and gas and some additional resources, can accelerate its accomplishment of that vision.”