Agri. Minister presses contractors over delays in completion of critical projects

contractors say shortage of supplies due to shipping, bad weather cause for delays

Contractors who have outstanding works or are late with providing critical supplies to several agencies that form part of the Ministry of Agriculture were today engaged on them meeting their contractual obligations within the given time frame.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

During a meeting with representatives from several companies with have active contracts with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), The New Guyana Marketing Corporation (New GMC), the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), and the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha reminded contractors of the government’s policy as it relates to delays in the completion of critical works that are aimed at improving the lives of citizens.

“Contractors who just indicated that they will complete their works in the specified time, please work towards that. We have a lot of programmes expected to come on stream next year and the ministry should not have to engage the Tender Board or the Ministry of Finance because contractors are not satisfying their end of the bargain. As a government, we are interested in getting these projects going so that we can get our programme off the ground. We are almost at the end of our expenditure cycle so I want to urge you to ensure you complete these works. These works are considered critical for the improvement of the lives of our citizens. As a government, we do not want to have projects going on beyond their project lifecycle,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha also gave contractors up until the end of the week to renew their mobilization bonds and submit them to the ministry.

Some of the contractors present at the meeting

Some of the contractors sighted delays in shipments of critical materials or unfavourable weather for not being able to complete their projects and seeking extensions. However, most contractors present committed to completing all outstanding works by the end of the year.

With the onset of the ongoing global pandemic, international shipping has seen a massive shortfall after countries like China and the United States had closed their borders. To date, the global manufacturing sector continues to experience delays in addition to the freight costs moving from $US4,000 per container to $US20,000 per container.

Minister Mustapha is expected to meet with the contractors within the coming weeks for an update on the progress made since today’s meeting.