Govt awards 100 contracts to small, new contractors
…big firms must not crowd out small contractors – Edghill
The Government has said it would make an effort to ensure that small and new contractors get a chance to earn contracts for supply of goods and services. On Tuesday, it made good on that promise with the distribution of 100 contracts for sea defence, grass-cutting and clearing of road shoulders.
A ceremony was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre that saw the Public Works Ministry contracting 100 small contractors. In his remarks at the ceremony, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill made it clear that these works are for the small contractors and not the big ones. Moreover, he promised that the Government would repeat the process next year.
“Next year we will continue to exercise the same facility. And we’re making it clear that the big contractors must not crowd out the small contractors in this aspect of our work. We want to make sure everybody is earning, so their families can have something themselves. Guyana is big enough and the economic pie of Guyana must be shared by all of us,” Minister Edghill said.
The minister also encouraged those small contractors to produce work of high standard and to be competitive.
According to him, the work they do is important, and they must not see themselves as doing “small jobs, but see it as very important. Do the work not just for the money, but for the country,” he exhorted.
Meanwhile, Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar, explained that the contracts comprised 45 lots for sea defence work and 55 lots for cleaning of road shoulders. According to him, approximately 75 per cent of the contracts were given to completely new contractors.
He noted that Government has deliberately taken this step in order to provide employment to those in need, while at the same time cleaning up and improving the country.
Providing his estimation, he noted that these projects would create at least 500 new jobs.
“For some, this might be a simple thing. But for me and this Ministry, we believe it’s a big thing. To find a way to put 500 people back to work I think is a good start,” Indar informed the crowd of contractors.
The contracts were awarded by the Ministerial Tender Board, and the official signing was done by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Vladim Persaud. In his remarks, Persaud urged the contractors to take pride in the delivery of the services as they work for the Government of Guyana and by extension for the people of Guyana.
“The Ministry expects that the works will be done in keeping with the standards; therefore, the contracting service must perform excellent to be recommended for future projects,” the PS said. The contracts awarded are $70 million for weeding and the cleaning of road shoulders, and $29 million for river and sea defences.