Contractors owed monies by THA to receive payment next week

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Contractors owed monies by THA to receive payment next week

Vice chairman of the Tobago Division of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce Demi John Cruickshank has advised that contractors owed monies by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will be paid by next week.

Cruickshank said since the Farley Augustine-led THA took office, the Tobago Division has been “fighting tooth and nail to get some sort of payments to the contractors and the suppliers on the island”.

Payments to the contractors, who were awarded approximately $300 million in contracts by a previous THA administration, were held up by an audit.

Cruickshank said, “What it has done, it has literally halted a number of businesses on the island and it has put a lot of our members in a close to bankruptcy situation.”

He added that there had been several meetings with the Chief Secretary and Executive Council about the issue.

“So I can report to you that as of the first or the third of February, funds were transferred to the Division of Works and Infrastructure to pay some contractors, not all contractors,” he said.

He said the delays with payments had left some Tobago contractors literally on the verge of foreclosure.

“Some of the court staff had reached out to us and indicated that they have judgments in hand against some contractors because suppliers are not willing to wait anymore,” he added.

Cruickshank urged bankers and other financial institutions to extend their grace period, as funds should be disbursed “within a week or so”.