Real estate and construction mogul Sir Charles COW Williams has urged the private sector to lead Barbados’ drive to be free of fossil fuel use by 2030.
Speaking on the Voice of Barbados’ Brass Tacks radio programme he declared: “Some argue that if the private sector gets involved in renewable energy, they will bring in foreign investors and it will result in foreign exchange leaving the country.
“But if the Government were to do the same with an international partner, would we not get the same result?
“I think it would be better for the private sector to lead the way, as it would give the Government more freedom to invest in other projects that will benefit Barbadians in the long run.”
He also claimed that the majority of the projects involving him and his brother, Ralph Bizzy Williams, only came to pass after they went through an appeal process.
He said: “When we bid on work we are in competition with others, and I do not stop anyone else from bidding.
“Bizzy has never gotten a first application for a development and had it passed without an appeal, and I have had the same problem with at least 80 per cent of the ones I have been associated with.”
As the Government relaxes its pandemic emergency restrictions, Sir Charles’s construction and quarrying operations are to resume this week, he said.
He added: “We had to lay off some people, but I thank God the Prime Minister has decided to remove the controls on construction and mining (that is, our quarry operations), so we will be resuming some of the jobs we were working on at the time of the shutdown.
“Three contractors are presently working with the Government on the road repairs, and Highway 1 and Highway 7 will be redone, but in a ‘sensible fashion’.
“From what I recall, Highway 1 was last repaved some 27 years ago and one of the issues with that road is that there are not many side roads on which traffic can be diverted, especially along the stretch from the bottom of University Drive to Holetown.
“However, when my son first came into my business one of the first jobs we did was Highway 1 and we worked from 7 p.m. at night until 7 a.m. the next morning, so we might very well have to do that again based on the heavy traffic along that road.”
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