NIA’s new approach to road works provides employment; saves money

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 13, 2013) — Junior Minister responsible for Communications and Works on Nevis Hon. Troy Liburd, revealed that the new approach to road works on Nevis would provide employment and save the Treasury money.

The Minister made the disclosure when he delivered a report on the Public Works Department at a town hall meeting hosted by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on November 07, 2013, at the Red Cross conference room on Chapel Street.

“The Public Works is also responsible for roads and we all use roads, so they’re important to us. The Department has taken, well since getting to office this government has, I would say, a complete 180. We have turned away from the policies of the previous government where large contracts, well I would say exorbitant contracts, have been awarded to some foreign companies.

“What we are trying to do is to have the work done locally; try to bring some more jobs; let the people on island, let the Nevisian people; the Nevisian public and those people living here, benefit a little bit from the work that is being done. We have competent people here; we have competent engineers at Public Works and I trust them. The government by extension we trust them to do his work,” he said.

Mr. Liburd also referred to the Hamilton/Government Road project, which the Department had undertaken to complete after the initial contractor’s scope of works was reduced and explained the cost involved.

“The project was initially stated to cost US$2.7 million for the entire project. That soon ballooned to about $2.3 million, so we are talking about US$3.2 million or EC$8.5 million. There was an initial contractor on the job, who because of the financial situation, we decided to reduce the scope of works and paid them for what was completed.

“At the time, we would have paid about US$1.8 million for the works that were complete up to that point. That’s about EC$4.9 million. So that would have left another US$1.4[million] to complete the job. I received and estimate from the Public Works Department and I know that we are very generous when we estimate and we’ve estimated that to complete this work, it would cost us about EC$1.4 [million]. So basically, what it would have cost us in US to do this work we’re going to complete it for that same amount in EC currency,” he said.

Mr. Liburd described the project as one of the larger culvert projects that the Department had undertaken to do on its own and expressed satisfaction with the ongoing work.

“I’m very pleased with the work that’s going on. This Hamilton project is of some significance to us because again, it highlights how this policy, the policy that this Government has implemented is beneficial to us…

“I don’t think that is any small feat, in completing this work. We intend to employ Nevisian contractors, Nevisian labourers again, Nevisian truck drivers and well I don’t say Nevisian to mean exclusively Nevisian but I’m talking about folks living on Nevis; folks doing business on Nevis; folks making a life on Nevis. We intend to create some jobs and we intend to save the Treasury some money, so I think that this is only the beginning,” he said.

Notwithstanding, the Junior Minister stated that the Department also had plans for 2014 and would continue along the new cost cutting policies to implement them.

“In 2014 we have a plan that I would call very ambitious, in terms of doing road renovations and so on. I would say that we want to give the Nevisian public an opportunity to see what $8.5 million of road work really should look like.

“I think that would be a good way to put it. Simply put, we want to do a few roads, instead of just one project. We want to do a few projects utilizing about the same amount of money and having Nevisians benefit from it,” he said.

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