Schools and teach­ers liv­ing quar­ters in­com­plete in Re­gion 9, con­tracts awarded since 2016

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Editor,

Kindly

per­mit me a space in your news­pa­per to bring to the at­ten­tion of the gen­eral pub­lic an issue of four cap­i­tal projects that were approved in 2016 by the Na­tional As­sem­bly for the en­hance­ment and de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion in Re­gion Nine, all of which re­main in­com­plete, de­spite fi­nal pay­ment hav­ing been awarded to the con­trac­tor. The projects were rolled over to 2017.

Editor, as afore­men­tioned, in late 2016 four cap­i­tal projects were awarded to a coast­land con­trac­tor. These projects are the con­struc­tion of Ta­batinga Nurs­ery School in the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Lethem, Baishaidrun Nurs­ery School in Deep South Rupu­nuni, Pi­pang Nurs­ery School in South Pakaraimas and Teach­ers Five Apart­ment Liv­ing Quar­ters in Sand Creek in South Cen­tral Rupu­nuni. Each project was costed at G$18M.

It is pel­lu­cid and pub­lic knowl­edge that the awarded con­trac­tor had sub-con­tracted these cap­i­tal projects. The stip­u­lated month of com­ple­tion of the projects was May, 2017. Checks and fol­low-ups were made by the Pub­lic Works Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Re­gional Demo­cratic Coun­cil of Re­gion nine as the work on these projects pro­gressed.

It has been re­vealed that the awarded con­trac­tor had re­ceived fi­nal pay­ments for the said projects, pend­ing 10% re­ten­tion, yet all four cap­i­tal projects re­main in­com­plete.

Editor, the open­ing of their new nurs­ery schools and teach­ers’ quar­ters, re­spec­tively, in the new school academic year in Septem­ber, 2017 was highly an­tic­i­pated by par­ents, teach­ers and pupils and the col­lec­tive dis­ap­point­ment is in­de­scrib­able.

I call on the sub­ject min­is­ter and rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, since you have promised trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity on pub­lic spend­ing, to in­ter­vene forth­with in this mat­ter so that the nurs­ery Schools and teach­ers’ quar­ters are com­pleted at the ear­li­est for its ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Editor, of ma­jor note, and im­mense con­cern, is the fact that the Min­is­ter of Indige­nous Peo­ples Af­fairs and fourth Vice-Pres­i­dent re­cently vis­ited Sand Creek vil­lage, but chose to turn a blind eye on the in­com­plete and stalled teach­ers five apart­ment con­struc­tion. The peo­ple of Re­gion Nine have seen and noted that gov­ern­ment min­is­ters fre­quent visit, lec­ture and make pro­nounce­ments, with none ad­dress­ing needs and con­cerns, or find­ing so­lu­tions to ex­ist­ing prob­lems of the vil­lagers; but they in­stead choose to make glow­ing re­marks in self-praise of the “Good life” the peo­ple now en­joy.

How­ever, some per­sons may be en­joy­ing ‘the good life’, but at the level of the Com­mu­ni­ties, it is a dif­fer­ent re­al­ity.

Alis­ter Char­lie PPP/C MP

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