A total of EC$379.26 million has been spent on the construction of the Argyle International Airport, which is expected to be “substantially completed” by the end of this year, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Thursday.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, further said the value of the work done so far is EC$557.49 million.
In responding to a question from Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, Gonsalves pointed out that the difference between the amount spent and value of works means that there is a substantial in-kind contribution of EC$178.2 million.
“Mr. Speaker, the amounts which have been committed so far on expenditure over that number by the IADC (International Airport Development Company) is $43.1 million,” he further said.
He said the EC$43.1 million include outstanding payments on fire trucks, baggage handling system, and passenger boarding bridges.
He said the airport can be built without the boarding bridges, which cost EC$5.1 million.
“But if we are building a modern airport, particularly since we are in a country that has a lot of rainfall, to facilitate — you know the problems in some places where you come off the plane but you can’t get to the airport.
Monies are still to be spend on the control tower, air rescue and fire fighting building, cements for concrete works, and, among other things, retrofitting of terminal building, including the areas to fit the boarding bridges.
“I have been advised by the IADC, that what remains to be spent, apart from the commitment of those items of expenditure I have outlined would be in the region of EC$160 million, which is reflective, broadly, of the ballpark I gave to Parliament last year.”
Gonsalves said the IADC expects the airport to be “substantially completed” by the end of this year, and the expected expenditure would be EC$583.5 million.
“Mr. Speaker, the value, of course, would be far more than that, because of the in-kind contribution.”
Gonsalves said there have been delays in the draw down of some monies, including US$5.5 million from the sale of land in Canouan as a result of difference that had arisen between the two principal partners, which resulted in the amount being outstanding to the government.
Gonsalves, however said, he expects that US$5.5 million to be paid soon, while another US$3.7 million will become due at the end of July.
“When you have tight budget and you are short of five and a half million dollars at a critical period, you experience some delays,” he said.
He further said that the government has received EC$25 million of a EC$40 million loan from Venezuela.
The government had hoped to receive the $30 million by end of May, but now anticipates that the outstanding $15 will be paid by the end of July.
Gonsalves said his government expects the airport to become operational by the middle of 2015.
Slip sliding away, this date…
My concern: Why on God’s earth does one individual hold three different titles. The job of prime minister should be the only job that person hold. I believe that holding more than one position within the government should be viewed as a conflict of interest, it also allows for that individual to vote or steer things in the direction they want it to go. Where do you have someone who is prime minister and at the same time they are minister of finance. Too many things can be hidden. The president of the US or prime minister of England does not hold other positions at the same time. Their focus is strictly on being the best president and prime minister of their country and for their people. What is going on in SVG.
Chhhheheesse Look at wee. Look at the size of land that thing is on Murdoooooo, comrade you not easy at all, and upto this day people can’t get paid for their land. I will be on the first plane coming down when it finish in 2020, we suffer too much for that airport I have my ticket money ready comrade lol.
Comrade make sure you give the breeze that blow in argyle one of your long speeches eh, that would calm down the wind everytime so the plane could land safe. Because we all know the wind down in argyle down play to blow strong. 2020 I’m on the first flight I can’t wait, bringing the whole family, I’m going to kiss the 1.5 billion dollar debt runway when I land down, I can’t wait.
Here we go again Vincentians. It is called ‘sending the fools a little further’. How many completion dates does the Argyle Airport have? Which is those dates is the correct one? With more than EC$200 million needed to fully complete that airport, means less money for Agriculture, Health, Infrastructure, Tourism, Education, and Social services. In addition to this government squandering our scarce financial resources, we have those well dressed crooks and tiefs – like sexy pastor and the lawyer’ wife helping themselves with government monies.
Vincentians wake up- we sleeping too much!!!! Wake up; wake up!!! For heaven’s sake!!
James Mitchell once described knockers like you as having a breadfruit mentality!
And he is right! Wake up to what? A total dependency on Barbados whenever we are going or coming? Or an island nation locked off from progress inaccessible and backward?
Talk about the thousands of computers students and schools now have, talk about the 10s of students sent abroad on scholarships, talk about the sense of pride Vincentians now feel wherever they are like myself here in the diaspora!
Instead of knocking this PM who is doing everything to better Vincentian lives you ingrates are forever putting a negative spin on it. I listen to the SVG TV news on You Tube and everytime I hear this Eustace talk I have to turn off the sound out of shame the man is forever angry he is not compose as a statesman should be, is this your choice of a leader? If so I refer you to the Mitchell theory! Shame on all of you who knock the PM, I put a challenge to you all- When this airport is completed don’t use it! Take a boat every time you want to travel! You deserve it!!!!
UPDATE: “Gonsalves said his government expects the airport to become operational by the middle of 2015.”
Next will say late 2015.
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