Why Hubert taking us down this road AGAIN?

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Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

Nassau Bahamas: Hubert Ingraham must be the biggest traitor any citizen this country have ever seen . When Ingraham took office last year he stopped the extended Milo Butler Highway project and delayed its completion.

But today, with the police pop band present, he told guests as he opened the new corridor BUILT BY BAHAMIAN CONTRACTORS, that he will now proceed with a $120 million road project to be built by a company out of Argentina. But BAHAMIANS built the road he was opening today. WHERE IS THE WUTLESS OPPOSITION?

Bahamas Press has been reliably informed that Jose Cartellone of Argentina, the man who Ingraham awarded the contract to, is also the same contractor who is on Jamaica’s BLACK LIST contractors.

According to a report tabled in the Jamaican parliament in 2005 by the Contractors General, 70 per cent of the 37 projects were scheduled to be completed by December 2003, but less than 10 per cent were completed by that time. This, the Contractor General said, was partially due to fluctuations in labour and material costs, changes in the scope of work and cost overruns.

The north coast project, which runs from Negril to Montego Bay, Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, and Ocho Rios to Port Antonio, was originally contracted at US$60 million ($3.6 billion Jamaican dollars).

The project, which should have been completed in June last year, is halfway completed with US$26 million ($1.5 billion) already spent. Work on Phase Two of the highway project, from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, recently resumed following months of delay due to financial problems experienced by the Argentinian contractor José Cartellone Construcciones Civles.

When the Jamaican Contractor General’s report was being compiled, 24 months of the 30-month project had passed.

“We concluded from our observation that poor management and inadequate financing account for many of the delays,” the report said. “Some of the overruns can also be attributed to poor planning and failure to adhere to strict contract administrative procedures.”

Mainwhile then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson announced that Cabinet awarded a $5.6 billion contract to Denmark construction firm E. Phils & Sons to complete Segment Three (Ocho Rios to Port Antonio) of the highway project.

Most of the money is being provided through a grant from the European Union, while the Jamaican Government will provide the balance.

The Contractor General also made reference to the Naggo Head Infomatics Centre in Portmore, a project that was awarded to Tank-Weld Limited. The $175 million project began in July 2002 and was slated to finish in April 2003. Up to the time of the report, the project was 88 per cent completed and had so far cost $156 million.

Meanwhile, the Contractor General said there was greater adherence to guidelines for procuring work than for goods and services.

Bahamas Press reminds the reading public that this is not the first time Hubert Ingraham awarded a MAJOR road contract to a foreign contractor with a BAD BUSINESS RECORD. The same happened during INGRAHAM’S first term in office, when the contract to commence work on road projects was signed with Associated Asphalt on April 5, 2001, to design and build all works contained in the contract for the sum of $52.2 million.

The INGRAHAM Free National Movement government received approval from Parliament in October 2002 to enter into an agreement with the IDB for an approved loan of $46.2 million for the project. The government also provided counterpart funding in the amount of $19.8 million for a total of $66 million.

However, Harrold Road was removed from the project, and is now being repaired by two Bahamian companies, Bethell’s Trucking and Heavy Equipment and Bahamas Hot Mix. Bethell’s Trucking will carry out the concrete and earth works, while Bahamas Hot Mix will have the responsibility for the asphalt components (THE PROJECT OPENED TODAY!).

Associated Asphalt a European based company went “belly up”, BANKRUPT with the initial project.

Now with all the fan fair of the new road opening today, and with the knowledge that this project’s completion, every Bahamian should now ask themselves one question, WHY DOES HUBERT INGRAHAM WANTS TO CARRY US THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN?

  • Rupert

    Thats bitch slap!

  • Rupert

    Altec, i agree with you 100%. The adverage Bahamian ages 18 to 32 hardly ever listen to, or read the news. and this is the voting block that we had problems with in the last election. We would probably hear PC respond to this maybe in the next three weeks. sometimes i wounder if he’s living in the twilight zone. Plp’s, somebody please bitch Mr. Christie back to reality cause the Fnm getting away with murder.

  • Altec

    Mr Colby and JR i have to respectfully disagree with the point that you two made and stand by my statement in the previous post when i said,

    “the PLP totally sucks at hammering the FNM when they make blunders. They have no sense of timing or worse yet, no cut throat mentality.”

    I dont just want no stinking press release, i want to see the PLP all up in HI grill. Why arent they all over the evening news (ZNS, Cable 12 and JCN News) raising stink about this? Oh thats right, they released a press statement! Why not have a press conference and sternly raise the issue.
    From what i see thus far only the Bahama Journal has mentioned the PLP’s press release.

    IF YOU WANT YOUR VOICE HEARD, THEN YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOUR SCREAMING THE LOUDEST

  • rb75

    BP I totalu agree with you at this time we need real and clear change.

    I did not go to oxford,harvard or yale or did I go to a big timr colledge Iam not big mucka muck lawyer or a big time fancy doctor or aacountant ….But I for sure know that that 120mil that HI just gave away would of been spent better here at home in this time of economic hardship and government revunue shortfall why should our country borrow 120mil that we will have to pay back and with intreats instead of this what should have happend was to continue on with Bahamain contractors that would off cause less money down the road let’s face it the big money will not be paid to Bahmian workers instead the big positions and big time money jobs will go to expat’s that this company will bring here to oversee the work on the road project.

    Again we have failed to put our Bahamian brothers first ….Bahamians completed tonic william ,Bahamains completed Sir Milo to Carmiachal ,Bahamians completed Blue hill rouna about I do not see why Bahmains could not have been giben the rest.

    Folks we are heading down a hill in this country ….this is a very hard christmas for a lot of people and we sit from day to day with our mouth shut …I am tired of watching my country sink deeper and deeper into an abyss …where the only people that are makeing it are the rich and super rich .

    Because if we look at it Perry C. and Hubert are both millionars so what do they care in the end.

  • Joe Blow

    In a small country like the Bahamas many of our elected officials will have an interest in many business enterprises. It follows then that contracts may be given in whole or part to these companies. In these cases the following must happen: the elected official involved must declare his/her interest in the bidding company and the extent of that interest. The official must step away from the bidding process and guarentee NOT to exercise any influence on any parties involved in the bidding process. If the comany is awarded the contract the official will not be involved in the contract in any way. These rules must also apply to any public service personel also as we know many of them have companies that may do business with the government. There needs to be a select committee that scrutinizes all government contracts before, during and after the awarding of a contract.
    Guidelines set up by a government are only as good as the enforcement of same. The Jamaican Government allowed that they did not keep a close enough eye on the projects as they proceeded but when they did with another country they contracted with; they were quite satisfied with the monitary results.
    While we want as many Bahamians as possible to have a share in the work that the Government undertakes we must acknowledge that we do not have companies well enough equipped to take them on. It would take a massive amount of organization and oversight to parcel out contracts to small Bahamian companies to complete such undertakings. The best we can do is ensure that each segment of the roadworks utilizes a Bahamian company where feasible.
    I would like to believe that the PLP’s interest in this was purely altruistic but past history proceeds them. One day we will get it right and for all the proper reasons.

  • Elcott Coleby

    I must disagree with Altec on this. The PLP did issue a press release on this contract signing. In the press release the PLP raised several issues and asked the FNM the follwing questions:
    1. Confirm the security of the performance bond and disclose the amount of the same.

    2. Explain the reasoning behind abandoning the use of wholly Bahamian talents and skills as was done in the past quite successfully.

    3. Disclose the level of involvement of Hot Mix and Brent Symonette in this deal. The offices of the foreign contractor is in the Mall of Marathon, a company that Symonette reportedly has a shareholding in. There must not be the appearance of a conflict between the public duties and private business interests of a cabinet minister.

    Altec, you cannot slam the PLP on this one because the PLP was on the ball this time. The press release was issued several hours of the contract signing.

    Please give credit where credit is due.

  • JR

    YOu guys are jokey. The plp put out a statement not even a hour after the opening and it was in the papers this morning. Vincent pete did it. Put fair where fair is BP because all people had to do was check. When they don’t do something to your liking, you blast them. when they do something but you don’t know or don’t want to know, you blast them. Be fair and do your homework first because they said something the same day you wrote your post.

  • altec

    Hey BP i remember the debacle that was Associated Asphalt. If HI repeats the same mistake again of contracting a financially suspect company then I will never question you again.

    On this agreement with this foreign company BP, will any of the work be contracted out to Bahamian companies? I refuse to believe that HI will sign a deal and there are no provisions for Bahamian contractors to get work. Plus if i am not mistaken isnt the DPM a part owner in Bahama Hot Mix? Ya know he want a piece of that $120 million.

    Lastly, I totally agree with you when you ask the question, WHERE IS THE OPPOSITION? Like i posted previously, the PLP totally sucks at hammering the FNM when they make blunders. They have no sense of timing or worse yet, no cut throat mentality. If this agreement has cut out Bahamian contractors or if this company is financially suspect, HI just put another blunder on a sliver platter for the PLP.

    I will wait a couple of days to see what the PLP ga do.