BK lashes out at Former President over “$800M in specialty hospital steel”
The steel which was to be used in the building of the now-stalled Specialty hospital was auctioned and did not go to BK as is being implicated by former President Donald Ramotar. This is according to Director of BK group of companies, Brian Tiwarie.
In a letter this afternoon which sought to respond to a Stabroek News article in which the former President said $800 million worth of steel and other equipment that were earmarked for the hospital project went solely to businessman Brian Tiwarie, the businessman clarified that this is not the case.
“BK having been granted an award against Surendra for works done at the site could have properly levied on the containers and on assets owned by Surendra but the government had taken possession of the containers and BK did not pursue that route. Instead as was stated above the container were taken to an auction and was bought by an individual, not BK” Tiwarie said.
Surendra Engineering was the first contractor approved to complete the specialty hospital however,the company had its contract terminated after it misled the government. During its short stint on the contract, however, BK was subcontracted to do foundation work at the Turkeyen, ECD site.
BK highlighted that the company is still owed approximately G$400M by Surendra Engineering, for foundation work done at the specialty hospital.
Tiwarie also stated that the contents of the controversial containers “were mere steel rods and it was clear that contrary to what was told to the government, none of the expensive steel frames was in the container…the estimated cost of the cargo in the containers was approximately US$153,000 and that is consistent with the contents of the container.”
He blasted the former president for being unable to effictively deal with the contract noting that “it would have served the Former President Ramotar well to be careful in dealing with this issue knowing very well that the project was mismanaged by his administration.”
The businessman called for a thorough investigation into the issues relating to the “award, periodic execution, failure and subsequent events following the suspension of Surendra Engineering from the Specialty Hospital Contract.”
He further highlighted several missteps made by the former administration in relation to the specialty hospital.
Additionally, during a Press Conference today, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the government will have to investigate the matter since there are some security issues of how the items got from one palce to another is included. He noted that the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health was asked to provide information.
“There was never any situation where this steel was collected and given to somebody. This was done under the PPP administration and in fact, I’ll give a fuller statement on the matter.”