$99M contract for Pakuri Village access road will be re-awarded – Edghill

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Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on Monday committed to ensuring that the $99 million contract to re-build the main access road at Pakuri (St Cuthbert’s) Village, Region Four, will be awarded this year.

The minister was addressing the construction of roads in the National Assembly when he made the pronouncement. This was after Deputy Speaker, Lennox Shuman raised the issue of the termination of the contract to have the road built in his hometown.

“Our commitment is that the St Cuthbert or the Pakuri roads will be done.”

“We are going back out to advertising, we will engage a contractor to ensure that the community is engaged in getting this road done,” the Public Works Minister said.

The contract was awarded to a contractor under the APNU/AFC administration in December 2019 but it was later terminated by the PPP/C administration. It is part of the ministry’s miscellaneous roads programme.

According to the minister, the termination was because the contractor was “unable, incapable and unequipped” to execute the works. He said he met with the village and sought ways to resolve the issue.

Shuman further asked why the village was not awarded the contract to conduct the construction works.

In response, Edghill said that his ministry became aware that the village can build the road because it has the machinery and capacity to do so, but in keeping with procurement laws, the contract cannot be awarded to the village.

He explained that the village can be awarded contracts amounting to no more than $5 million. This contract exceeds this amount.

“This is not a contract we could award to the community because of the size of the contract but certainly what we are seeking to do when we get a contractor engaged is to ensure that the community is involved in the execution of the works whether it is by way of subcontracting or by way of being employed by the contractor to execute the work,” the Minister said.

He further noted that a $1 million contract was awarded to the community for it to purchase fuel and do smaller works for the community while the ministry engages a new contractor to carry out the road work.

The Pakuri main access road that leads way from the Soesdyke/Linden Highway into the village collapsed back in April 2018. Shuman first highlighted that sections of the road collapsed in a Facebook post. Persons could not pass and it was noted that as a result, community members had to use a detour, taking more than 30 minutes to get into the village.

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