Contracts signed to improve road conditions
Minister of Economic Planning and Finance, Camillo Gonsalves has expressed delight at the signing of two contracts that will improve road conditions in this country.
The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on February 12 signed contracts at Cabinet Room with Kuwait Dynamics Limited for work on the construction of the National Agricultural and Feeder Roads project and NARCO DIWI (NARCO a Kuwaiti firm and DIWI a British Caribbean firm in a joint venture arrangement as consultants) on the feasibility studies and preliminary designs for the rehabilitation of the North Windward Coast Road.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Hudson Nedd signed on behalf of the Government, while Osama M Refaei represented Kuwait Dynamics Limited and Dr Nabeel Abdul Raheem represented NARCO DIWI Consultancy.
Gonsalves said he was elated to be part of the ceremony as two and a half years ago he signed original loan documents with Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
He said there was a considerable amount of work to be done on selecting the roads and a great deal of engineering work. He confessed to having moments of frustration along the way, but admitted that he is very happy to be at this point.
“Where we are today is spending 32 million dollars in 32 months,” he said.
The Finance Minister said Transport Minister, Senator Julian Francis has been very strong on the issue of implementation. He also expressed gratitude to the Kuwait fund for Arab Economic Development for the generous terms under which they extended the loan to SVG and Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) for its generous terms too.
“We could not get that amount of money for road repair on better terms than what we received in the Kuwaiti Fund and OPEC fund,” he said.
Kuwait Dynamics will be entering into a subcontracting arrangement. Minister Gonsalves said he recognises the work minister Francis did to ensure these works are contracted for efficiency and also maximum impact in the economy and among contractors in SVG.
He is urging the private sector to step up in terms of supplying materials and services to make the contract work.
“I have no doubt that they will do so because people want to make money and there is a lot of money to be made in St Vincent and the Grenadines from this contract.”
Gonsalves said this is remarkable financial commitment within the constraints of this government and also remarkable commitment to secondary agricultural feeder roads and village footpaths.
He said Government spent considerable sums on main road network but never before has it spent this sort of money on internal roads, secondary roads and feeder roads.
“This is absolutely unprecedented in the history of this country,” he said.(API)