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MP for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings, speaking in Parliament on April 4, 2023.
MP for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings, speaking in Parliament on April 4, 2023.

An opposition lawmaker has noted that the nationwide road repair programme the government said would have happened after the competition of Argyle International Airport (AIA) has not materialised.

The government had promised that after the completion of the airport, which opened in February 2017, the construction equipment would be used to repair and construct roads on a scale the  nation had not seen before.

However, six years later, many of the nation’s secondary and feeder roads are in desperate need of repairs and in other areas, residents continue to wait for dirt tracks to be upgraded to paved roads or footpaths.

Last week, Parliament passed, with bi-partisan support, a bill authorising the government to borrow EC$120 million from Taiwan, to be spent on road repairs through 2027.  

The passage of the law formalised the borrowing which was approved in the EC$1.2 billion Budget for 2023 that lawmakers approved in January.

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Speaking in the debate, Daniel Cummings, MP for West Kingstown, spoke of “the enormity of what is being attempted in the country to put right what was wrong for a very long time.

We go back to the building of the Argyle airport. During that time, it would appear that all road repairs virtually were abandoned, and there was no significant construction of roads,” Cummings said.

He noted that the government promised Vincentians that with the completion of the AIA all of the construction equipment would have been used to build roads all over this country.

“We wouldn’t see road building like that again,” Cumming said, summarising the government’s promise.

“We all have seen that — absolute rubbish. The equipment had no use whatsoever. And in fact, all it turned out to be is a set of scrap iron still dumped all over the place,” he told Parliament.