Let’s examine Jagdeo’s concern about the “level of corruption” at project Cheddi Jagan Airport under the stewardship of the APNU+AFC Coalition by looking at the facts.
In 2001 the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation, CJIAC, was formed by an amendment to the Public Corporations Act (1988) with a Board of Directors which reported to Works…and by corporation law, interpretation at least, its revenue didn’t have to go into the Consolidated Fund kitty.
By then the PPP had already landed the country on the lower tier of the Corruption Perception Index and the revenue not hitting the Consolidated Fund meant it was hitting somebody’s pocket, many thought.
Bharrat,who was made Junior Finance Minister in 1993 and fullfledged by 1997,was one of the first advisors on the remodeling team touting plans for a new check in counter, fire tenders and a conveyor belt as upgrades ( pg 14 3 bullet point from top).
By the time Janet tossed him the leader baton, a mere two years later, the Airport project, according to the 2000 Budget, was spending a mind blowing USD 30 million, on some generalized – as against line item generally accepted accounting principles- improvements (bottom of pg 22)
The trainee who was once running the money was now running the country.
Plausibly some Jagdeo CJIA Corruption.
So, the 2008 Budget speech, by Ashni Singh Finance Minister –whose wife Gitanjali Singh as the Auditor General was okaying the cheques – in which he laid out an escalated price tag NOW AT USD 668 million for the protracted Airport Project with a continuous to-do list for upgrades pg 15 b, came as no surprise. It was business as usual under the PPP and particularly, Jagdeo.
The husband and wife combo, a signature move, was a brazen conflict of interest supported by this Bharrat whose character, quite provably, comes with a warning label…
The Jagdeo CJIA Corruption, started when he was a Financial trainee was ready for more funny money now that he was running things.
Back then, Chris Ram, whom many of us saw as an objective overseer, was doing what patriots do in the face of corrupt government.
He was calling the airport project in never- ending progress…play by play … on what seemed to be the Airport remodeling slush fund.
His 2013 analysis cites a feasibility study done years after the project started – a USD 138 million tag with a 20.7 million advance to a contractor…who could have been the man on the Quaker Oats box …since he remains unnamed.
And the Contract Cost Summary looks as unconvincing as the Quaker Oats contractor, obviously configured for the budget not budgeted for the configuration.
Some Jagdeo CJIA Corruption, is what it was.
And there’s more.
The toilet thing.
After multiple rounds of excoriating defeat in the failed drive to immediate elections in 2018, Bharrat deployed Robeson Benn – who is significantly brighter but surprisingly more stupid – to call for a full -fledged probe into Airport Contract, as overseen by the Coalition.
Robeson may have forgotten that he was Minister of Public Works to whom the CJIAC Board Chairman, Dookhoo, reported and between the two of them they bought 69 toilet bowls, with covers (as if that is an upgrade) for a total of GYD 29. 3 million, 424, 212 per each, urinals at USD 1488.47 face sinks at USD 620.19 to back in to a loan of USD $138 million.
According to Robeson, he signed the toilet contract because the” Chiney man “, actually China’s Vice Premier at the time, was waving billions of dollars through a small window and he had to take the opportunity…
…which is the typical paraphrase for straight up thieving when PPP, Jagdeo and money all find themselves in the same sentence.
Might we add that Pradoville was in extended labour, giving birth to one mansion after the other at that time….not that it’s relevant… to the PPP, that is.
And Ram’s budget analysis of 2013, citing a 5.35 billion spending for the never ending Airport on top of the $4.32 billion spent on it in 2012, all of which seemed grounded in wholesale fabrication, validated our equation of Jagdeo, PPP and money never having a beneficial outcome for ALL GUYANESE…pg 31# 5.
It is preposterous that this Airport project started 22 years ago, since Janet was flipping the Presidency between her and Sam Hinds, then to Bharrat as a proverbial cash cow, can have corruption called for it against the Coalition, that is still trying to figure out which crooked projects to discontinue, having inherited the 22 year felonious mess PPP created only in 2015- four years ago.
Fact is, the barefaced finger pointing coming from the Party with a solid and provable record of money melting when under PPP management should never be allowed to stand; not with the mountains of evidence of crippling improprieties its governing members inflicted against the nation.
Fact is, too, neither Jagdeo nor his Party has any standing to be in the reputation laundering business.