Government sidelines local contractors

… engages Suriname-based Chinese company to build low-income homes

Hundreds of Guyanese will be denied job opportunities if Government seals the deal with a group of

Minister Valerie Sharpe-Patterson  along with GM of Zhong Da International Engineering Company (CDIG) Wu Qiong, during a visit to Suriname
Minister Valerie Sharpe-Patterson along with GM of Zhong Da International Engineering Company (CDIG) Wu Qiong, during a visit to Suriname

Surinamese-based investors to construct low income and medium-income houses at the Perseverance Housing Scheme on the East Bank of Demerara (ECD), according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Jagdeo accused the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Administration of sidelining local contractors for a group of Chinese investors for the undertaking; a move he said they would have complained bitterly against if they were not in Government.
“Isn’t this taking away jobs from our local people? How come you were saying all the time that the Chinese are coming to take away jobs and here you want them to build small houses,” he highlighted, noting that this is just one of the many contradictions of the ruling Administration.
Jagdeo estimated that over 400 Guyanese could have been provided with meaningful job opportunities had the Government contracted local people for the project.
A team headed by Minister with responsibility for the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Valerie Patterson visited Suriname to meet with the Chinese investors there.
Minister Patterson was accompanied by CH&PA Board Member Mark Jacobs; CH&PA Chief Planner Rawle Edinboro; Pilot Coordinator of the Guyana Wastewater Revolving Fund Marlon Daniels, who is also a Water and Sanitation Specialist; and Building Consultant Klensil Grenville.
This visit was a follow up to a proposal, which was submitted to the Government of Guyana by Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) for the housing project in Guyana.
The proposal is for the construction of low and middle-income homes, complete with water and sanitation systems in Perseverance Scheme.
The Perseverance Scheme is the site where the Government’s Turnkey home Project is ongoing. To date, a total of 59 homes have been completed, with another 141 under construction.
Reports indicate that another 800 homes are to be still constructed.
On the other hand, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that the General Manager of the Chinese Company, Wu Qiong, assured that over 50 per cent of the workforce for the project will be Guyanese.
He noted that training would be offered to locals once the project commenced.
Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) N V was founded and registered in March 2000 and it constitutes the solely-funded enterprise of China Dalian International Cooperation Group (CDIG).
However, the parent company CDIG has been in Suriname for over 17 years and its business covers road construction, bridges, industrial and civil engineering.
Zhong Da started its housing project in Suriname, which is one of the key projects used by that country’s Government to solve the problems of people’s livelihood.
To date, the company has completed a total of 550 homes, over a period of 40 months in two Government housing settlements in Suriname.