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Fahie faces hostility over gov’t debt

Leader of the Opposition and representative of the First Electoral District Andrew Fahie. File photo

Representative of the First Electoral District Andrew Fahie has reported that he has been facing hostility from some contractors in his constituency because Government has failed to pay the said contractors for work done some five months ago.

The said work was spearheaded in December 2016 by the government-owned Water and Sewage Department. It involved, among other things, the installation of pipes in the Fort Recovery area.

Fahie indicated in the House of Assembly a few days ago that, since completion of the project, he has been getting the run-around from Government representatives who are responsible for ensuring the contractors are paid.

Fahie therefore urged Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool to publicly give a ‘guarantee’ that payments will be made soon.

“I brought this matter to the attention of all the authorities that I could bring it to, and I am always getting a guarantee that they (the contractors) are gonna be paid; and they are not paid. And I have to drive through my constituency everyday to some of them in some quite hostile manner towards me – and they are not being paid. So is this something that is a high priority now so these young men that worked in the First District can be paid?” Fahie asked.

Payment within two weeks

In response to Fahie’s concern, the works minister, Vanterpool, said he was not aware that the workers were not paid until recently when Fahie tried to get answers in the House.

But Fahie stated that, up to this year, he sent Vanterpool a Whatsapp message, informing him about the non-payment.

Vanterpool, in the meantime, promised that the contractors will be paid this month.

“It is my understanding that payments have not yet been made. I instructed and directed that the payments be made within the next week or two – as my Permanent Secretary [Anthony McMaster] discussed with me. So hopefully they will be paid within the next two weeks,” Vanterpool continued.

“We will do everything possible to make sure these individuals will be paid. I apologize on behalf of the ministry for this.”

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