$1.3B Fibre Optic Cable scrapped – Hughes
After months of conducting a series of inspections, the government is made to face the stark reality that like the Skeldon Sugar Factory, the Fibre Optic Cable from Lethem to Georgetown is just another humpty-dumpty.
This is according to Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes.
The Minister said that Government was optimistic about salvaging the cable. She said that even when checks were done and it was discovered that the cable was in a horrible state, there was still hope.
The Telecommunications Minister noted however those money that were allocated to repair the cable will have to go elsewhere.
Hughes told Kaieteur News that Government tried its best to save the $1.3B initiative but given its atrocious state, spending another cent would constitute a grave sin against hardworking taxpayers.
Hughes said, “We had to scrap this project. And it is frustrating to me and it is disappointing that here we have another project that has turned out to be nothing but a complete waste of taxpayers’ moneys. It is sickening.”
Hughes reminded that $240M was budgeted to resuscitate the troubled Fibre Optic Cable Project. She explained that $140 million was allocated to consolidate, monitor, maintain and extend the existing eGovernment Fibre Optic and LTE Network around Georgetown and along the coast from Moleson Creek to Charity.
Government had set aside $100 M to repair and upgrade the Georgetown–Linden Fibre Optic Cable, Hughes said.
She recalled that this project was abandoned by the previous Administration after it had spent over $1B. Hughes said that the lack of a feasibility study, poor planning, absence of effective project management and the use of inexperienced contractors are some of the major factors that led to the failure of this project.
Hughes said that Government will move to correct all this so that the people of Guyana, regardless of their socio-economic status or remoteness will be digitally connected and socially included.
The Parliamentarian asserted that the strengthening of the eGovernment system is critical in imparting added value to processes that characterize good governance.
She said that improved connectivity within government will permit joint planning and assessment resulting in Government’s business processes becoming more efficient.
Minister Hughes noted that the eGovernment expansion will also serve to facilitate connectivity between Government and citizens thereby strengthening accountability, connectivity between government and citizens and connectivity between and within communities’ thereby building social cohesion and economic development.