Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn (fifth from left) hands over the contract document to Managing Director of Mohamed’s Enterprise Nazar Mohamed. (Ministry of Home Affairs photo)
November 25 ,2021
Gold dealer Mohamed’s Enterprise, yesterday signed a $614 million contract for the construction of the new Guyana Fire Service Headquarters building on Homestretch Avenue, a move that has since raised questions about the firm’s experience in executing such a large project.
According to the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) website, Mohamed’s Enterprise submitted a bid for $858,788,980 so it is unclear as to how a contract was signed for $614 million.
Efforts to contact NPTAB’s Chairman Tarachand Balgobin were unsuccessful.
The contract was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mae Thomas and Managing Director of Mohamed’s Enterprise Nazar Mohamed in the presence of Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn.
The signing of this contract comes on the heels of the $346 million contract for the construction of the Bamia Primary School in Linden being awarded to St8ment Investment Inc – a less than six months old company and whose principals are closely linked to the government.
At yesterday’s signing, Benn said that construction of the new Fire Service Headquarters is expected to commence no later than December 1, 2021, and completion is expected in 14 months. He added that the relocation of the Guyana Fire and Ambulance Service, from the highly congested Stabroek Market square, will help increase the emergency response timings.
Benn further stated that more space would be added for the storage of equipment and assets.
The headquarters will be built just west, of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Homestretch Avenue and next to the proposed Guyana Football Federation’s complex. The Ministry opened the competitive bidding process in early October and the tenders were opened by the NPTAB on October 26.
Twelve bids were received and according to the engineer’s estimate, the project is expected to cost $648,600,670.
The 12 companies that bid were PD Contracting with a bid of $580,131,313; International Imports & Supplies $620,043,794; A&N Enterprise $616,616,534; Quality Deliverer $490,580,934; SD Investment $630,265,880; Navin & Son’s Construction $587,313,476; Memorex Enterprises $604,009,738; STP Investment Inc $648,077,094; Mohamed’s Enterprise $858,788,980; Nabi Construction Inc $619,881,084; Ivor Allen $641,490,199 and R. Bassoo & Sons Construction Company Inc $ 657,298,466.
Section 39 (2) of the Public Procurement Act of 2003 states “The Evaluation Committee shall, using only the evaluation criteria outlined in the tender documents, evaluate all tenders, determine which tenderer has submitted the lowest evaluated tender, and convey its recommendation to the procuring entity within a reasonable period of time, but not longer than fourteen days.” It is unclear whether the lowest bid, which came from Quality Deliverer for $490,580,934, was non-responsive.
Back in June, the Ministry of Home Affairs signed contracts worth an estimated $1.2b for the reconstruction of the Lusignan Prison Lots 1-3 and among the recipients were Mohamed’s Enterprises for the reconstruction of one of those blocks.