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$3m Shortfall In Ministry's School Repairs Budget

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE the Ministry of Education's school repair budgetary shortfall of around $3m, Jeff Lloyd says officials will "make it work".

The Minister of Education was also confident yesterday public school repairs would be finished before the start of the new school year on September 4, although some contracts for work had not yet been signed.

Some contractors were also awaiting mobilisation money to begin the work, Mr Lloyd told reporters yesterday.

Students

The ministry needed $9m to get schools ready for students. However, he said the government only allocated $6.2m for this undertaking.

"Let me say that the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Works and (Ministry of) Education we work in tandem to get these schools repairs done," he said.

"New Providence is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and the minister has assured us that the contracts have been signed and are being signed this week and the mobilisation will be given to those contractors this week.

"We also know that many of those contractors would have already begun the work because they need six or seven weeks to get the large scope of works done in the respective schools.

Contractors

The smaller contractors are waiting on that mobilisation and I have been assured that that mobilisation would be provided this week before the third of August in which time they will have essentially four weeks to get those works done.

"I have been assured and I stand by that assurance that school will be ready for September 4, 2018. We are already on the first of August. This requires them to be working a little bit longer than the usual business hours of the day."

He added not anticipate any problems with works being undertaken in the Family Islands.

"Those scopes of works have already gone, contracts have already been signed, (and) money has already been sent to administrators in respect to the islands. Contractors have already been chosen and so they are on their way with the work at this particular time.

"So, I feel very confident at the moment - although we don't have any room for delay at this point - that school will be ready," Mr Lloyd said.

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