Categorized | National News

Grant Defends His Record

The former Free National Movement (FNM) Government continues to catch flack for the over budget New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP), but that has not stopped former Minister of Works and Transport Neko Grant from defending his record.

Minister Grant was giving his contribution to the 2012/2013 Budget debate yesterday afternoon.

He said despite the flack that he continues to take for the multi-million dollar NPRIP deal, nothing unethical was done.

“Much continues to be said in and out of this place as it relates to the New Providence Infrastructure Improvement Project. For the sake of posterity, I wish to emphatically state that I have done nothing illegal, I have done nothing unethical, I have done nothing dishonest and simply put I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

“The cost overrun for this project is well detailed and documented in a communication made by the former prime minister and minister of finance. For the record, since the side opposite has focused on cost overruns a very simple project untaken under their watch with no major challenges, such as undocumented utilities, high water table, working in urban areas, land acquisition and this list of challenges they did not have goes on.”

Mr. Grant pointed out that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government carries just as much blame as the former FNM administration for the flawed works undertaken by Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles (JCCC).

“This same JCCC that is now being demonised by members opposite was approved by the PLP in 2003 to bid on the road project. In early 2003, five international contractors indicated an interest in bidding on the road project. Canadian Commercial Corporation, Vecellio & Grogan, Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles, Sigma Construction Engineering and Lagan, which dropped out indicating that they could not meet the criteria. The first three contractors submitted pre-qualification proposals by the bid period and of those only JCCC was pre-qualified to bid,” he said.

Mr. Grant said no matter how much the PLP condemns the FNM for the delayed NPRI the end result will benefit the country for years to come.

“The project so far has improved the traffic flow on the island of New Providence, and in doing so it has improved the quality of life for Bahamians. When completed, the project will greatly improve the quality of lives for generations,” Mr. Grant said.

In 2008, the former FNM government signed a $119 million contract with Argentinean firm JCCC to undertake the massive NPRIP.
It is now expected that the project will cost $206 million.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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