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Call for establishment of CPO

File photo of work taking place on the delayed government project at River Road

One of Grenada’s long serving qualified Surveyors is urging the one year old National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to establish a Central Projects Office (CPO) to avoid the pitfall that bedeviled the previous administration with a low implementation rate of projects from international donors.

He told THE NEW TODAY that such a dedicated office is a necessity in order to prepare and manage all projects undertaken by the State.

He called for the recruitment of competent Engineers, Surveyors and other highly skilled personnel to work in the CPO.

According to the Surveyor, Grenada has gone backwards in recent years especially with the design of projects that are now being outsourced to neighbouring islands like Trinidad & Tobago.

He cited the Town of St George project, the brainchild of former Ambassador to the United States Dr. Angus Friday that is now being designed by a leading firm in Port-of-Spain.

“We out-source all of these whereas we used to be doing that years ago,” he said.

The surveyor recalled that several years ago, the state-owned National Water & Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) had several highly skilled persons to help execute projects but that is now a thing of the past.

“We don’t have nothing so we can’t go forward,” he remarked.

He also lamented the fact that Grenada lacks a functioning Land Surveyors Association and that both NAWASA and the so-called Public Works of government do not have any Surveyors on staff.

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The Surveyor pointed out that one of the problems with Grenada and the loss of funds from international donors is the lack of input by Surveyors in the process.

“You must prepare project design and need the input of at least a Surveyor,” he said.

Grenada had nearly lost an estimated EC$92 million in grant funding from Britain that was pledged in 2015 under the former New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell by then British Prime Minister David Cameron on a brief visit to the island.

After seven years in office, the regime had failed to come up with the project designs to draw down on the funds that were lodged in the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Britain informed Grenada in November 2022 that it was no longer making the funds available because of pressure on its foreign aid budget due to Covid-19 pandemic as well as its former colony’s failure to come up with projects to spend the money.

The 45-year old new Grenadian leader who is a barrister-at-law by profession told Parliament that after making contact with London, the UK government agreed to commit just over $EC70 for the Southern Waste water project of NAWASA but was unable to retain funding that was pledged for the Western Main Road project.

Speculation is rife that the firing of foreign Consultants resulted in lengthy delays in the design of the two projects.

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