Contractors urged to hire from beneficiary communities

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall has urged contractors to ensure the majority of their employees come from the communities they are executing projects, in order to sustain the local economy.

He was on Wednesday, speaking to contractors in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) in the boardroom of the respective Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs).

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall

“When contractors go into different areas, we expect them to source labour from the area at different levels, whether it is skilled or unskilled or professional services. They must give priority to the area that they are working. In that way too, I think that the community itself, having invested in the project, that they will take ownership of it and when there is ownership of projects in communities, there will be sustainable management of those projects,” Minister Dharamlall said.

He said the PPP/C Government is serious about fulfilling its promise of providing 50,000 jobs in five years, adding that the employment of persons in the construction sector will help realise this objective.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall interacts with contractors

However, contractors expressed that in some areas, persons are not interested in the construction sector and in other cases those who are employed, abandon their jobs.

Minister Dharamlall said the Regional Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons are tasked with informing residents of upcoming works, for those interested to seek employment.

Reports are that some contractors are uplifting the stipulated 15 per cent of their contract fees for mobilisation of assets and are not tendering invoices to collect payments. The Minister said contractors are required to send an invoice to the RDC every two weeks for payment.

This worker paints a culvert

“If you’re not going to be professional and working with the Government to build a better business climate in the country, then I think we have to find new people to get there.”

Minister Dharamlall expressed the need for better communication between the contractors and the Regional Democratic Council. He noted that contract deadlines are constantly missed without any documented reasons.

“Unless there is documented evidence of things that you can’t control that will affect the outcome of your contract then we will not be subscribing to any extension. Then you will be in liquidated damage phase. So, that is why your contract files are very important. I want to see documentation on every contract. If it is that rain is affecting you, we want to know the days it rained and it must be documented and how it is affecting you.”

A school under construction

The Minister urged contractors to take their corporate social responsibility seriously, to which they committed to developing communities.

He also encouraged all contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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