The Tillman Thomas led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration says it plans to inject EC$268-million and create one thousand jobs, through the implementation of over 8-projects in the next two and a half years. Thomas revealed this plan in St. George’s on Thursday night at the first in a series of town hall meets.
Flanked by most of his members of Government, the Grenadian leader told the televised meeting, that the implementation of the projects would be staggered over the next 24-months.
“In outlining these projects, it is worth pointing out that not all will be completed within the next 24 months. Indeed, on many of these projects work has already started or is on track to begin before year-end.”
The Grenadian leader said he thought it necessary to comment on how the projects would be implemented to make the point that his government was not implementing projects for political mileage.
“We consider it necessary to make this observation given the misguided tendency by some, to interpret every project commencing its life cycle in the last year of a Government’s term, as the result of political expediency.”
Most of the projects outlined are infrastructural projects in the education and agricultural sectors and will be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and government. They include the Grenville Market Project to the tune of EC$35.6 million dollars; the EC$70.7 million dollars Regional Disaster Risk Management program which will rehabilitate two bridges, two schools and two geriatric homes in several rural communities; and the EC$16.5 million dollar Venezuelan Multiproject which would seek to, among other things, refurbish the St. George’s market Square.
One of the projects down for implementation by the first quarter of next year is the controversial feeder roads project, which is being funded by the Kuwaiti Fund and the OPEC Fund to the tune of EC$54 million.
This project which was negotiated by the former Keith Mitchell New National Party (NNP) Administration and scheduled to start 2008 shortly after the NDC government took office, has been an issue of much contention between the current government and the opposition over how the contract was awarded to Contractors Consolidated Company (CCC). The NNP has claimed that the government derailed the project for petty reasons. The NDC government however claims that there was not enough transparency in the manner in which the project was tendered and how the final contractor was decided on. Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), which employed over 200 construction workers, shut its operations here late last year and pulled out of the country.
On Thursday night Prime Minister Thomas said that after discussions with the Kuwaiti Fund, “it has been agreed that this project will be re tendered.”
He added that eight (8) contractors including CCC have been shortlisted and the government plans to issue invitation for tenders next month.
“I wish to pledge tonight that this government shall continue to look for ways to improve the lives of our people whether it is 3 years or 3 months from elections!”