President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Friday said there is a need for accountability by contractors and government officials.
The call by the President was made during a meeting held in Mara, East Bank Berbice, where residents complained of negligence on the part of contractors and regional officials.
During the meeting which was held at Schepmoed Primary School, residents called out a contractor who failed to undertake rehabilitation works on three kilometres of the Mara road. Residents brought it to the attention of President Ali that the contractor has only worked three days in the month thus far.
The project is expected to be completed by December 29. “The government is investing in these roads and you guys think you can do what you want. This is your final warning. I want you to write this engineer,” President Ali said to the contractor who was present at the meeting.
He said the time for excuses is no more. President Ali warned the contractor that if he does not finish the job on the deadline, he would be exempt from receiving any more contracts from the government. Added to that, the engineer attached to the Ministry of Public Works who is supervising the project was ordered to move immediately to the community until the works are completed.
“I am not going to sit back and watch people ride the system anymore. There will be consequences,” the President added.
In another instance, President Ali scolded another engineer who made promises to the people in the community to fix a dam by placing tubes without there being funding or informing the Ministers of Public Works.
“You cannot come here and be dishonest to people. If you do not have the money in a budget or anywhere to buy the tubing, on what grounds you made the promise? Because you know what? You guys do what you want on the ground and the government gets the blame at the end of the day,” President Ali said to the engineer.
However, President Ali said systems will be put in place to install the tubes soon.
“In this case, I am going to ask the Minister of Finance for us to find the resources before the end of the year to finance this project and have it implemented. To finance this project and implement it, we will be working with people in the community to provide the jobs right here in the community to do it. So, if there are small skilled people in the community, we will bring them together, work with them in completing this project.”
President Ali said if the government is to be able to deliver to the people efficiently, the people entrusted to do their jobs must be held accountable.
“It has come now to a time in this country where we have to hold people responsible. If we want to chart a future that brings prosperity, a future in which people can benefit from an efficient system, we have to ensure we build a system that is resilient and accountable and that is what we are doing in the government.”
In November, President Ali met with contractors executing government contracts and charged them to expedite their work but to ensure that quality is maintained as Guyana continues to go through a revolutionary period of growth and development.
During that meeting, the President explained that the government’s performance involves not only the government agencies but also how contractors execute projects.