President Dr Irfaan Ali today urged local contractors not to sleep on Guyana’s forthcoming development drive. The Head of State, in a public address today at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, urged actors within the construction sector to brace themselves as structures, including local content legislation, are being put in place as Guyana continues on its development trajectory.
President Ali noted that in order for local contractors to take advantage of upcoming opportunities in the sector, they would need to adopt a change of culture and shift their way of thinking and doing business.
The President stated that “Whilst we are developing, we have to start thinking and operating as if we are first world because unfortunately that is how people are judging us. Do not sleep on the development drive. Do not be aloof.”
The Head of State further went on to elaborate, stating that “We have to create a winning culture in this country. You have to create a winning culture in your companies. It requires a shift in how we operate and do things. I want all of us to be successful and be better at what we do. We are going to turn the screws out because we know you have it in you to be successful.”
President Ali’s statement comes amid widespread criticism of the manner in which contracts are currently being awarded, contractors’ ability to undertake the tenders and to deliver successful projects within the specified time frames.
To this end, the President noted that the quality of the project will be comprehensively spelt out in the bid document and that there will be a clause of what is the contractor’s responsibility for a specified time. He noted that, “The country is operating at a different scale of sophistication, and at every scale of sophistication, you require higher quality—higher delivery of the end product.”
President Ali went on to discuss a few of the forthcoming infrastructural projects such as the new Demerara River Crossing, amongst others, which would require the involvement of local contractors. He noted that, “This is the scale of investment that we are talking about—that you will be a part of. That is why you have to pull yourselves up now.”