OPPOSITION leader Matthew Wale calls on the Government and the SPG 2023 Hosting authority to give local construction companies a fair go in the awarding of national and the 2023 SPG infrastructure construction projects.
He raised this in light of concerns expressed in relation to the upcoming tender for the SIFF Academy project, which is tied to the recent increase in Chinese construction companies picking up key national projects.
“This is a worrying trend which I fear can cripple the local construction industry and make the country entirely dependent on foreign construction companies for our major infrastructure works if the government is not careful,” Wale said in a statement yesterday.
“Major infrastructure development projects come with golden opportunities for local employment and upskilling in management and technical expertise,” he added.
“These are qualities that do not come by easily hence when we have them in-country, our local construction companies must be given a level playing field to compete.”
Wale said current stringent tender requirements added with malpractice and political interference may well be part of the impediments that continue to deny our local construction companies having a go at major projects.
“The future of the country will by and large ride on major national projects and so the Government must ensure that local companies are provided with an environment to be equipped in every way possible to be able to shoulder our future infrastructure development needs.”
He said responsible authorities must also note that Chinese construction companies will always bid below any threshold set as they can afford to do this given the state support they have, adding that it will be grossly unfair on local companies therefore if quotations are used as the main yardstick to determine winners of contracts.
“I therefore call on the government to give priority to the need to invest in our local construction industry and to ensure that some of the big SPG 2023 construction projects are awarded to local companies.”