Today, January 20, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed a 6 million EC loan arrangement with Demerara Bank Ltd (Guyana) for the purchase of fifty (50) pre-fab houses from Guyana.
Speaking at the signing ceremony which took place at Cabinet Room, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said this marks an important moment in regional integration, “we do not know of any other case in the Caribbean where a Government in financing an aspect of its public sector investment programme…borrowed money from a bank…a commercial bank in Guyana and also an indigenous bank in Guyana.”
Dr Gonsalves noted that the houses, which are being purchased at a competitive 5 percent interest rate to the Government, are of good quality and durability and soon personnel from Duravilla will come to St. Vincent to aid in the assembling of the houses as well as train local artisans in the process. Prime Minister Gonsalves also mentioned that he has been in continuous discussions with the President of Guyana over this collaboration.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the prices quote first are reduced …we are getting reasonable terms to rebuild homes destroyed by La Soufriere…workers in SVG going to get a transfer of skills because Duravilla is going to send persons here to show them in respect of the assemblage of these houses…” Dr. Gonsalves said
The Prime Minister noted that Guyana is a country with immense natural resources and continues to make significant contribution to the Caribbean community.
“I always make the prediction that Guyana will be a substantial part of saving the Caribbean and the integration movement,” Dr. Gonsalves advised.
General Manager of Demerara Bank Ltd Guyana Dowlat Parbhu agreed with Dr. Gonsalves that it is indeed a significant moment in the demonstration of the integration movement and noted that there are other sectors in which Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines can collaborate.
“Guyana is on a path of development…new found oil, there is so much new niches that is coming so fast, we need to train our people…. I think it is a starting point for many such collaborations in the future,” Parbhu explained.
Deputy Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel said he is pleased with this latest development as it complements other initiatives by the Government such as the refurbishment and rebuilding of a number of homes in North Windward affected by the eruptions of 2021. So far, Government has rebuilt and or refurbished over 900 houses.
“We have areas identified as Orange Hill, Sandy Bay and Langley Park where we can have some houses built…there are some lots available at Coloniarie ….and in the area of Cumberland in North the Leeward constituency, that area has been identified to which we can also have houses built,” Minister Daniel confirmed.
Minister of Housing Dr. Orando Brewster was also on hand at the signing, Minister Brewster said the quality of the homes being purchased are of the highest quality.
“These homes are durable and even the finished aspect of these homes, I am happy to report that the homes were are acquiring ….are of excellent quality and I want folks to rest assure that what we are giving to you is not something that is ramshackled, something that we knock up overnight, these are homes that are built to standards and specifications ,” said Minister Brewster.