January 11 ,2021
Kaieteur News – Caught red-handed in another instance of its blatant disregard for contractual commitments is Brian Tiwari’s BK International Incorporated. In this most recent case that was brought to the attention of this publication, BK International received 70% of the payment for a $124M sea defence project over a year ago but has only managed to complete 15% of the works. Junior Public Works Minister Deodat Indar shared revelations, during his visit yesterday to the site of sea defence at Plantation Andrews, Region Two.
The signing and awarding of this $124M project was done on December 31, 2019—a contentious period when the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) administration was deemed to be in caretaker mode.
The project was nonetheless awarded and was aimed at repairing 1,000 feet of rip rap sea defence at the Essequibo Coast village, with commencement and completion dates as January 21, 2020, and August 21, 2020, respectively.
However, during his visit to the project site yesterday, the minister observed that a meager 150 feet of works had been completed by BK International, despite the contractor collecting almost $90M in payments.
Minister Indar recalled that BK’s disregard for contract commitments at Plantation Andrews is akin to what was displayed by the same contractor for a $352M sea defence project at Dantzig, Region Five. There, BK had been advanced $105M for “emergency” sea defence works in June 2019. This followed after the powerful tides of October 2019 had devastated vulnerable parts of coastal Guyana, with thousands of families living near the shoreline struggling to keep their belongings, livestock and farmlands from being damaged by saltwater that had breached the coastland.
But even after receiving $105M from the former government, BK had initiated zero mobilisation works on the project claimed to be of urgency. As a consequence, when the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic took office in August of last year, one of its first actions was to terminate the $352M contract with BK. It was later handed to two other local contractors.
“BK International again has been performing defaults on works and I am saying to you that we cannot continue to have this anymore. We cannot use taxpayer’s money for vulnerable areas to see that it is not being completed on time and lack of due care,” Minister Indar expressed, while emphasizing that “stern actions” will be taken against this contractor.
Attempts were made by Kaieteur News yesterday to contact Brian Tiwari, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BK International, with aims of ascertaining an explanation for his breach of contract agreement. Those attempts, however, proved futile.