The principals of the Statement Construction company which was recently awarded a $340 million contract for the construction of the Bamia Primary School in Linden are pushing back at the criticism over the group’s experience in construction and other questions surrounding the award of the government contract.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Local Government signed the school construction contract with the company after it was awarded the contract through the National Tender Board.
The principals of Statement Construction are the owners and directors of the Hits and Jams Entertainment Company and the Kashif and Shanghai Football Organisation.
Immediately following the announcement of the contract and the revelation of the persons behind the company, questions were raised about the contract’s award and the experience of the company.
The company was registered seven months ago but deregistered a few months later. It is unclear whether at the time of its bidding for the contract, it was back on the national companies register.
Appearing on the Hangout radio programme on 94.1FM which is owned by the Hits and Jams company, Director at Hits and Jams and Statement Construction, Kerwin Bollers explained that while the company may be new to the construction field, it has brought together trained and experienced persons in construction to lead the project.
“Yes it is a new company, but we have done a lot of background on putting together a very competent team…and we have a very competent team in terms of executing this project”, Bollers said.
Responding to claims that the company and its Directors are better known for entertainment promotions than having anything to do with construction, Mr. Bollers said the company has been expanding into new and other areas and will continue to do so.
“So yes we have started from a deejaying background, but persons said the same thing when we got into media, they were like what do they know about media and what do they know about radio and now eight years now, and I think we can safely say that we have the number one radio station in Guyana”, Bollers affirmed.
He said the company is currently involved in other construction projects and will continue to bid for other government projects.
Statement Construction has enlisted the services of well-known Guyanese Engineer Charles Ceres and his company as consultants on the school construction project.
Mr. Ceres who also appeared on the radio programme said there could be no questioning of his competence and experience in the field of engineering and construction and he is pleased to be working along with the new company.
He said he believes that criticism of the company and its Directors may more be grounded in racial and political issues and he does not support that.
Ceres who has been outspoken on various national issues surrounding construction had filed a $200 million lawsuit against former Opposition Leader, now Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo over claims that he benefitted from land handout gifts under the former government.
He said he believes when it comes to contracts, new companies should be allowed to bid and participate in vying for government construction contracts.
Since the signing of the contract for the construction of the school and the fall-out, the Ministry of Local Government has been relatively silent, directing all questions to the Tender Board.
Regional Officials in Linden have indicated that they played no part in the awarding of the contract but will be keeping a close eye on the construction of the school, which the Regional Chairman Deron Adams reminded was initiated under the former Government.
For its part, the Statement Constructing Company has launched a hiring campaign for the project in the town of Linden, searching for general construction and other skilled workers. The company has indicated that it wants the workforce for the project to be drawn from the Linden community.
There were four other companies that submitted tenders for the project. The bid by the Statement company was the second-lowest bid.