BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 16, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, on Saturday December 14 reiterated that Team Unity Government’s fiscal prudence has resulted in surpluses, and is therefore not borrowing to execute a number of capital projects in the country.
“By and large, all you see happening here we are not borrowing for it – understand that,” said Prime Minister Harris when he delivered feature remarks at the opening ceremony of the newly constructed Wash Ghaut Bridge, and a section of the Island Main Road in Cunningham, Cayon.
The Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project is costing a total of $71 million, noted the Prime Minister at the function that was attended by the Hon Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, and the Hon Eugene Hamilton, Area Parliamentary Representative and Minister of Agriculture, who also gave remarks.
The ceremony was chaired by Mr Cromwell Williams, Director of Public Works Department and was also addressed by Mr Martell Lee, of ADeB Consultants. After the speeches, a ribbon was cut to officially open the Wash Ghaut Bridge, following which, Prime Minister Harris, Cabinet ministers, contractors and residents of Cayon area symbolically walked on the new bridge and that section of the Island Main Road.
“Government cash is being put to work for the development of the country,” advised the Minister of Finance, Dr Harris. “We are building a multi-purpose community centre at Lodge Project/Ottley’s – we are not borrowing for it. We are building a new health centre at St. Peter’s – we are not borrowing for it. We built the terminal down at the Bayfront – we did not borrow for it. We built the East Bus Terminal – we did not borrow for it.”
Prime Minister Harris continued: “We are building the West Bus Terminal – we are not borrowing for it because we are managing the resources well. We have surplus, and the surplus now is coming for you. So you have good things happening, but you have to be careful. You have to be careful, and sometimes we have to remember that things can change, sometimes just for a moment you take your eyes off the road – an accident. So you always have to be so careful, and take nothing for granted, and I am appealing to you not to take what you have in the Team Unity Government for granted.”
Minister of Public Infrastructure the Hon Ian Patches Liburd revealed that of the $71 million being spent on the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project, $25 million will go towards paying local contractors who have been given opportunity by government to showcase their skills.
“These are the faces of people you and I know – these are the contractors that have come out of our communities,” said Prime Minister Harris. “These are our sons with their talents, with their experience, just waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves and your Team Unity is giving them that opportunity to prove themselves time and time again. And when they come forward, they bring with them workmen whom you know, your friend, your cousin, your neighbour, to be part of the progress that is taking place in this country.”
The Honourable Prime Minister added: “What we are doing here, in terms of our operation is an international best practice. Nowhere else you have the kind of strict application in terms of tendering process and the opening up of it for all and sundry to put in a bid – and when you put in a bid, the best person will come forward.”
The process of opening the tenders for the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project was so open that Government invited representatives of the media to come and see how the exercise was going to happen. Dr Harris noted: “It was transparent, open, accountable – good governance at its best, never before had it happened this way.”