Kuwaiti Funds agrees to release funding

Hon Gregory Bowen

A senior Government Minister has announced that the Keith Mitchell administration was able to get a suspension of funds lifted, by a major funding agency.

Works Minister, Gregory Bowen, on Thursday announced that the Kuwaiti Fund has agreed to lift a suspension imposed on Grenada since February 2012, after Grenada failed to make payment on outstanding loan agreements.

Bowen said, on coming into office, one of his first order of business was to get an update on the status of the negotiations between the Kuwaiti Fund, used mainly for road construction and Grenada.

He said that Grenada was faced with two dilemmas — “The realization that there was a suspension on the release of funds, and the image that was being painted by a company which was owed millions,” he said.

Technocrats and negotiators in the Ministry were able to obtain a new deal within the last two weeks, and that paves the way for work to begin next month.

Highlighting aspects of the agreement, Bowen said that the  new agreement includes the payment of EC$1,000,000 to the Fund this week; approval of a payment schedule to cover $11,000,000 in arrears, and the resumption of a $3,000,000 payment every 6 months.

“A condition of the agreement also involves Grenada paying monies owed to Caribbean Consolidated Contractors (CCC) Limited, on a schedule of $500,000 a month,” he said.

Bowen gave the assurance that Grenada will continue to make payments to the Fund under the new arrangement.

This is welcome news for the approximately 400 workers who lost their jobs, after CCC pulled out of Grenada in 2009 after the Tillman Thomas administration opted to have phase one of the project conclude and phase two returned to the bidding table.

Following international practice and standards, companies submitted proposals for the project and it was again awarded to the CCC.

Bowen says CCC workers will be on the ground in significant numbers by next month, as the project resumes in earnest with the construction of farm roads in various rural communities and villages.

 

Photo: Hon. Gregory Bowen, Minister for Works

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