Sunday, April 14, 2024

$5.6m to study roads, bridges?

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THE EDITORIAL in the January 6 WEEKEND NATION mentioned an allocation of $5.6 million for a Caribbean Development Bank-funded road and bridge improvement study.

As one with an enquiring mind, I am asking the relevant newspaper to recheck this amount of money to ascertain if it is correct or a typographical error.

I am also asking if the word “funded” connotes or implies a loan?

There must be something peculiar and complicated about our present roads and bridges that $5.6 million is allocated for a road and bridge improvement study.

Barbados is far dissimilar to places like Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Hamburg, Venice and Amsterdam with a super-abundance of bridges and road networks incurring high costs.

Another question is, what are the real input costs for a study to determine improvements for our roads with less than a dozen bridges?

If ever there is a need for some robust investigative journalism, the time is now. For too long Barbadians have been saturated with unnecessary studies as well as commissions of enquiry rather than correcting the apparent and obvious problems that are evidently present.

I am submitting that a significant part of our debt to GDP ratio is a result of accumulative allocations of funds borrowed, though at times derived from direct taxation, to finance wasteful and useless consultancies, contracts and studies.

The costs of superficialities and cosmetics continue to be a drain on our financial resources. Instead, our financial managers need to stick to the basics in order to assist in the reduction of deficits and the high debt to GDP ratio.

– MICHAEL RAY

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