Nipdec chairman deflects blame

By Denyse Renne

Hamlyn Jailal, chairman of the Nation­­al Insurance Pro­perty Development Company Ltd (Nipdec), said all questions on the multimillion-dollar Shaw Park Cultural Complex ought to be addressed to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

Contacted yesterday evening and asked to comment on the delays as well as cost over-runs of the complex being built in Scarborough, Tobago, Jailal told the Express: “I think that question is better directed to the THA and ask them why.”

The chairman said the THA is the client and would be better positioned at fielding such questions.

“They are the clients and they will be in a better position to answer why a project which was estimated at and budgeted at $80 million has now exceed­­ed $300 million.”

Jailal further explained that Nipdec only managed the project while THA determined the scope of work.

“They (THA) would determine what they want done, not Nipdec; we will project manage; based on your budget, we will project manage for you, but you determine the scope of work. Nipdec does not determine that.”

Adding there were significant changes in the initial design, Jailal said: “There was a design for 1,500 seats, the THA took it to 5,000 seats. There were major chan­ges in the design, especially pertaining to the roof, and that was at the client’s request. That was the client’s prerogative, it is their mo­ney; we project manage and the reasons for the delays were the constant changes to the designs,” he said.

Asked about the facility’s failure to pass a fire inspection, given this also fell under the purview of Nipdec’s project management, Jailal said he is not aware of that and would not want to comment.

In a news release on Monday, the THA announced it “has terminated its project management contract with the National Insurance Property Development Company Ltd on the multimillion Shaw Park Cultural Complex”.

“This followed the pre­sentation of a report on the status of the project by chartered quantity surveyors and con­struc-

tion cost consultants EQS Ltd, headed by Winston Riley, a former president of the Joint Con­sultative Council (JCC).

 “The consultant, who was engaged to review the facility, to make recommendations and to discuss a corrective approach, reported to the THA on November 19,” said the THA release.

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