Finance Minister Jordan reveals expenditure for remainder of 2015

Expenditure for the remainder of 2015…

Govt. to construct small hydro-power sites in Moco-Moco, Kato and Tumatumari  … As IDB says Amaila Falls Hydro project is too risky to attract the Bank’s financing

October 21, 2015 – KNEWS – Finance Minister Jordan has outlined in his 2015 half year report, how government intends to spend moneys on some critical projects for the remainder of the year.

In the energy sector, he asserted that the Government is unable to proceed with the controversial Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project in its current form as the cost of financing this project is too high. Jordan noted that the Inter-American Development Bank, a major stakeholder in the establishment of the hydropower site, has indicated that the project is too risky to attract the Bank’s financing.

Small Hydro Projects  

As a result of this, the Finance Minister said that government is seeking to develop a comprehensive alternative energy matrix which will outline sustainable and affordable energy sources. He said that plans are also underway to construct small hydro-power sites in Moco Moco, Kato and Tumatumari.

Upgrading Power Distribution + alternative Energy

The Finance Minister said that during the latter half of 2015, tenders will be launched for interventions captured under the Power Utility Upgrade and Sustainable Operation of the Electricity Sector programmes, including procurement of rehabilitative works on low voltage networks and smart meters. Further, with respect to alternative energy, he noted that the nation can expect to see the procurement and installation of photovoltaic systems, as well as the rolling out of pilot projects in the installation of solar street lighting.

Improving Electricity Generation

Jordan also recalled that for the first six months of 2015, a sum of $10.8 million was expended on capital projects to improve electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Under the loss reduction initiatives, he said that rehabilitation and reconfiguration works were successfully completed in 18 areas including Georgetown, East Coast Demerara, West Bank Demerara and Berbice.

 Agricultural Sector Development

In the Agricultural Sector, the Finance Minister outlined that during the first six months of 2015, in excess of $6.4 billion was spent. Under the capital programme, he said that $104 million was spent on the completion of the Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Development (READ) project, which targeted poor rural households through the provision of funding for 20 Enterprise Development Projects, 14 Productive Social Investment Projects, 43 individual farmers and the participation in a Business Forum Exhibition.
Additionally, Jordan said that persons also benefitted from training in the areas of life skills, food handling, marketing and enterprise development.
In an effort to improve the delivery of agricultural services, Jordan said that the final half of 2015 will see investments geared towards reducing hindrance to farmers’ productivity and improving access to Veterinary services.

 Drainage and Irrigation

As for Drainage and Irrigation, the Minister of Finance said that in the first half of 2015, Government expended $1.7 billion, of which $863.3 million was on recurrent expenditure and $897 million on capital projects for this sector. He said that this performance is largely attributed to the delays in commencement of construction of pump stations at No. 43 Village, Eversham, Gangaram and Lima.

He stated that this performance was also compounded by poor contractor’s performance in many other areas. While construction and rehabilitation works have commenced and continued on sluices, revetments, pumps and pump stations, Jordan noted that in the latter half of 2015, initiatives to strengthen and improve planning and monitoring to reduce risk of breaches and overtopping of the East Demerara Water Conservancy will be pursued.

He emphasized that quality assurance, instrumentation and emergency preparedness plans will be developed under the Flood Risk Management Project to guide rehabilitative efforts for the construction of three pump stations along the East Coast of Demerara.

Air and River Transport

In the area of air and river transport, the Finance Minister disclosed that the sum of $47 million was expended on capital works in the first half of the year, in order to carry out maintenance of hinterland airstrips in Matthew’s Ridge, Port Kaituma, Kamarang and Imbaimadai.

Additionally, the sum of $27.5 million was spent on the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airway (CJIA) runway. Under the CJIA Extension Project, he stated that investigations have shown unfavourable soil conditions in the area earmarked for the extension of the runway.

“This has caused several delays in the execution of this project,” he added in his report. Additionally, the Finance Minister stated that Government has renegotiated the CJIA contract, which now includes upgrade and modifications to the existing terminal building and a realigned runway. The latter half of the year will see a finalized runway design and additional earthworks on runway extension.

However, Jordan said that the second half of 2015, will see efforts being advanced to improve service delivery through the country’s waterways, specifically the docking of MB Sandaka, MV Barima, and MV Kimbia, acquiring spares, rehabilitating stellings at Georgetown, Parika, Leguan and Bartica, and facilitating dredging in the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers.

Further, the government will be approaching the Government of India to finance the acquisition of an ocean-going vessel for the North West District.
Parliament is expected to reconvene tomorrow and the Finance Minister is slated to table several reports, one of which includes his 2015 midyear report.

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Comments

  • OBSERVER  On October 21, 2015 at 8:54 am

    It may be a simple thing but shortly after his appointment I made a certain observation about the Ministry’s physical condition to Minister Winston Jordan, and in a matter of three days it was corrected. I was shocked that this new minister would have acted upon my suggestion and made me feel like a ‘small’ Guyanese whose ideas can be considered as being important. God Bless Minister Winston Jordan.

  • sirenagx  On October 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with Observer. But i CANNOT understand why govt officials have to be told about things that they should see themselves and correct. I once suggested in an email to the hard headed PPP that Ministers should spend as much as 1 third of their time ensuring that their ministries are doing what they supposed to and seeking to see what can be improved and what savings can be made. Also pointed out that there should bee one Project monitor to ensure projects are designed, implemented and maintained properly. This was one of the biggest problems of the PPP,, poor project management and listening to others. Hopefully, this group will do better

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