The Hon Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit has responded to accusations levelled against the Government of Dominica by the Joint Consultative Committee of the Construction Sector concerning the contract signed for the rehabilitation of the West Bridge between the Government of Dominica and NSG Management and Technical Services Ltd. from Barbados.
On Monday, April 25th, the committee voiced several concerns at a press conference at the Public Service Union building.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, April 26th, Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit said Government is committed to ensure that infrastructural development in Dominica is constructed to the highest standard.
“Cabinet believed that it was critical that the Government engage a company that was experienced in managing projects of this scale and complexity, with the absolute need of delivery of the highest quality within the shortest possible time. This led to the engagement of NSG with its proven track record across the Caribbean in the areas the cabinet deemed important. It has been the experience of the Government of Dominica that many contractors in the region want to bring their own equipment and manpower to the island. Thereby denying the local construction industry opportunities to participate in the execution of public works projects. During our discussions NSG was clear in their commitment to bring their experience management team and to work with local firms in the execution of the project.”
The Hon Prime Minister noted that Dominicans will also be employed with the NSG Management and Technical Services Ltd. on the rehabilitation of the West Bridge.
“They have agreed to a structure that enables the transfer of technology systems and general know how, utilizing more local labor and products and services as possible. Additional resources will only be brought in Dominica by NSG when it is essential so to do or when the resources are not available locally; and this is a very important point. This idea of the Government awarding a contract to a foreign company that will bring in labor equipment, vehicles etc at the expense of local service and product providers is categorically wrong.”
The Dominica Leader stated that 70% of the contract price will remain in Dominica as payment for products and services procured locally. The Prime Minister believes the building experience of NSG Management and Technical Services Ltd. will definitely be an asset to this project.
“The advantage of a company such as this, in an emergency situation as we have at the West Bridge is that it is in a position to call on professional expertise and to access and utilize the very latest technology and methodology in the execution of this assignment. Not only will the best of what Dominica has be employed and utilized but the project will also be able to lean heavily on the North American and European connections of NSG.”
The new dimensions of the west bridge will be 176 feet in length, retaining wall 341 feet in length, and 13 feet in height.