Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 16th 2014 Contents A7
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Actual Return for the Quarter
NH International (Caribbean) Ltd has obtained
a $167 million contract to construct the main
campus of the College of Science, Technology
and Applied Arts (Costatt), which will be moving
from Melville Street, Port-of-Spain, to Pierre
Science and Tertiary Education Minister Fazal
Karim said yesterday Cabinet had confirmed the
construction of Costatt’s main campus on 30
acres in Chaguanas. It will take 15 months to com-
He said tenders were invited in connection with
a design-build package. Nine firms submitted
tenders. He said NH International (Caribbean)
Ltd was the preferred tenderer.
The first phase involves a three-storey building,
fixtures and equipment and associated works over
65,000 square feet
He expected construction would start shortly.
Costatt starts civil works next Wednesday.
Karim said its main campus had been at Melville
Street for ten years, using 65,815 square feet at
a monthly rent of $986,241.
It also leases 632 square feet at Bretton Hall,
Port-of-Spain, at a lease cost of $70,518 monthly
which is used for faculty offices.
The campus also has 22 classrooms, at a cost
of $66,000 monthly at Bishop Anstey High School,
for evening classes.
Karim added: “In total, the college pays approx-
imately $13.4 million annually for access to approx-
imately 86,000 square feet of office and classroom
“To date Costatt has paid over $144 million to
lease this 86,000 square feet which caters for
4,816 students at the city campus.”
With the current arrangement, he said, Costatt
could not provide adequate space for additional
and new courses or hire required staff due to lack
Karim noted the protective services, for instance,
had asked Costatt to include more forensic sciences
to aid the criminal justice system but all of that
would be rectified in more expansive surround-
He said while the Melville Street campus would
be closed due to its financial implications, Costatt’s
St Clair (journalism school) campus would be
retained, as well as facilities at El Dorado, Trinity
Bishop’s and Sangre Grande. (GA)
Occupation of the Government Campus,
Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain, is expect-
ed to begin from year-end while problems
at the Immigration and Inland Revenue
buildings are being regularised in the
short-term, says Finance Minister Larry
Speaking at yesterday’s weekly govern-
ment media briefing, Howai noted recent
problems experienced by members of the
public in accessing the Inland Revenue
Building and other offices hit by industrial
The Public Service Association (PSA),
Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and other
government office staffers recently have
been protesting the condition of various
The PSA claims the buildings do not meet
Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) rules.
Staff took action over the busy March-
April period when tax returns were being
submitted by the public. The Immigration
Division also was affected.
Howai said $1.3 billion was allocated in
the 2013-2014 budget for completion of the
Government Campus which was built by
the PNM administration. The allocation
would be spent over the next 12 to 15
months, he added.
On why work had not started, he said
Government was working with a deficit
budget and had to prioritise.
Howai also noted the government campus
had been unfinished for some time and had
some deterioration and outfitting issues.
He said his ministry had approved funding
for the work to be done and the request for
proposals was issued on a phased basis for
the different aspects.
Those included the Legal Affairs Tower,
Inland Revenue Unit and Customs building,
Howai said the campus, starting with the
Customs building, was expected to be com-
pleted by year-end on a phased basis. He
said work on the Customs building had
already started and occupation was expected
by the last quarter of the year.
Over the next year and up to the end of
next year, it was also expected the different
government departments would be moving
into the complex and “we should be able
to bring all these issues to conclusion,” he
Howai said he expected the OSH problems
at the immigration and BIR buildings to be
completely regularised in the short-term.
“In the next few months we expect to
see a considerable improvement, not only
at the Inland Revenue and Immigration over
the longer term but also at NIB offices and
others government divisions occupy,” he
Howai said the National Security Minister
had taken steps to address problems with
the Immigration Department to ensure OSH
He said staff would work from 8 am to
1 pm to allow for the expediting of structural
Cabinet also has approved funding to
complete work that needed to be done at
BIR’s 20 offices throughout T&T.
Howai said VAT administration officers
were removed to the Finance Ministry build-
Works at the Treasury Building would be
completed within the next two weeks, he
Another ministry unit, Victoria Court,
had been completed and work at Trinidad
House and all required approvals there, were
expected to be completed by the first week
of next month, he added.
Howai said $15 million would be invested
to upgrade BIR’s information technology
systems to enhance online inter-action with
the public and another $15 million would
fund a security system to upgrade and safe-
guard taxpayers’ information.
He said he also visited National Insurance
Board offices to ensure an upgrade of NIB
offices, which he noted had special cus-
tomers, such as the ill, elderly, retired and
NH gets $167m
contract to build
Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim, left, responds to a question during yesterday's
post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
Looking on is Finance Minister Larry Howai. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Govt set to move into
Richmond St buildings
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