Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles says the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is focused on giving projects to Tobago contractors to help them improve the quality of their work so they could bid for large projects on the island.
At a cheque distribution ceremony for contractors involved the July/August schools repair programme on Wednesday at the Division of Education, Dutch Fort Street, Scarborough, Charles said selection of contractors from within Tobago communities would continue.
“The thinking behind it was that we ought to provide opportunities for a number of contractors, especially our smaller ones so that they can get the necessary experience so that they can grow. One of the things we want to happen over time is that the majority of the construction projects that will be taking place in Tobago, we would want to see Tobago contractors being afforded the contacts,” he said.
“We have a number of persons not resident in Tobago being provided with some of the larger contracts, but we want you to get to the point where you can comfortably bid and win some of the larger projects that we have coming on stream.
“Before larger contractors were given the contact, then they would subcontract, so we decided last year we will do it differently.” Charles said he has high hopes this initiative will develop Tobago’s people and its economy.
“…part of our vision moving forwards is that we will develop Tobago community by community, and in order to do that we need to develop the resources in the community, which is the people and their skills and the non-human resources which is the institutions and companies,” he said. He added that the were expected to provide an improved standard of work as it was for the benefit of their family and other villagers now and in the future. He congratulated the contractors who received cheques and who were for the July/August annual School Repair Programme for what he was timely and excellent quality work.
The budget for repairs was put at $15 million, and 40 contractors were awarded 83 construction packages.
At the reopening of the school term, Charles reported a 100 percent completion of all repairs, despite reports of clogged toilets at the Speyside Anglican school, inadequate furniture at the Signal Hill Secondary school and flooding at the newly opened Scarborough RC school from rainfall.