Barbuda contractors to be paid today

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Relief is on the way for contractors on Barbuda who downed tools on Monday over monies owed to them for work done as part of the reconstruction effort on the devastated island.
One contractor who spoke to Observer media, said that the contracting agency, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), has not paid them since they started work on the island in September. 
“We’ve been working down here since after the hurricane and we have roofs, so far I have about seven roofs also that are ready for galvanise basically to complete them. And we have never received a dollar from NODS up to today.
“It’s very stressful because the workers now who work for me are leaving because of lack of finances to continue the work,” the contractor said.
He added that he was owed some $80,000 and that week after week he was being told to “hold on” and to continue working. The other contractors have also ceased work over the non-payments.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne in a subsequent interview stated that he had instructed that the contractors be paid today.
Browne said it made him “irate” to learn that the bureaucracy had been clogging up the system and “making it look like we do not have money to pay the people.”
“We had $5.4 million in the central bank and it had to be transferred to the Treasury. This was done last week and they can’t pay people $80,000. We said one million will go to NODS immediately to pay the bill and it seems as if the transaction from the Treasury to NODS has not happened,” an incensed Browne declared.
The PM added that the accountant general assured him that the money would be paid today.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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