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Airport expansion contractors try to clear the air

The Chinese company which the Guyana government entered an agreement with for the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan airport is indicating this evening that the world bank debarment of its parent company does not really affect its work. In a statement after concerns were raised about the company’s credibility in wake of the world bank ban, the company China Harbour Engineering said the matter is not a new one and said though its parent company is fingered and debarred by the world bank, that had nothing to do with its own operations since it says it was never involved in any activity sanctioned by the world bank.

The china harbor engineering company said it has never been under investigation by the world bank.
As far as the company is concerned there should be no issue over its operations since it was its parent company that was involved in the world bank probe.

But that explanation may not be enough to convince the opposition parties from further pressing the government to come clean on everything surrounding the contract it entered into with the company and the due diligence work that should have been completed.

Although the expansion of the airport received support from the opposition when it came up in the national assembly as a budget item, the AFC is now saying had it known of the world bank probe and ban it would never have supported that expansion especially with the Chinese company involved.

The opposition parties have been calling for the government to release all of the information of the agreement that was entered into during the winding down days of the Bharrat Jagdeo administration. The agreement only came to light following reports in the Jamaican press and that came long after the agreement. Up until then, the former president and his government played the silent game on the contract and agreement. There was never an invitation for bids in the media and other contractors were never made aware of the project. Even senior officials in the works ministry and at the airport were left in the dark over the deal that the former President Jagdeo handled himself.

The expansion project is expected to be funded by a Chinese investment firm. The government has come under fire over the secretive nature of the project.

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