AGREEMENT INKED: US$150M Saudi loan for housing development, Wismar bridge
Two loan agreements to the tune of US$150M were inked in Georgetown on Monday between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Guyana; it marks the first such agreement between the two governments.
Intended for infrastructural projects, the funds will be spent largely on expanding the local housing programme in three regions but will also allow for critical upgrades to the Wismar Bridge in Linden, Region 10.
Guyana became the 88th nation to receive funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development. It follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year.
The signing took place in the presence of President Dr. Irfaan Ali and several other officials at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive Office by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development Sultan A Al-Marshad.
The visiting official spoke briefly and said it was an exciting day for both sides. The Delegation is currently in Guyana on a three-day visit.
Sultan A Al-Marshad noted the focus on building sustainable economies.
The first loan agreement to the tune of US$100 million will see the construction of more than 2, 000 housing units in three regions.
But Dr. Ali, particularly underscored the importance of upgrading the decades-old Wismar Bridge into a four-lane bridge which is beneficial for not only Linden but the wider forestry and mining sectors.
The current bridge that connects Wismar and Mckenzie in Linden is a single-lane bridge.
Dr.said it is part of the government’s infrastructure master plan and is impressed with the ease and timeliness with which the agreement was finalized.
“I am very pleased to be able to advance these projects at such a rapid pace.”
On Saturday last, Dr. Ali noted that from this loan there will be the construction of 1, 000 young professional homes in Linden.
“And we shall sign for US$150 million for housing. And all of you in the construction sector will have to come forth as we build the 1000 houses for Linden for low-income families. And we want the builders, the carpenters, the masons, to be from Linden. We want it designed and built by Linden, with the PPP/C by your side,” Dr. Ali said.