The revelation of a shortage of red sand, an essential ingredient in the construction industry, further showcases the incompetence, rampant mismanagement and absence of priorities of the Rowley regime.
It also prompts an additional challenge to the declaration by Minister of Planning Camille Robinson-Regis that the Government has created 5,275 jobs through the Public Sector Investment Programme.
Ms. Robinson-Regis, who continues to have a difficulty with figures, is claiming the creation of the construction jobs in spite of the building crisis caused by the red sand shortage.
The current scarcity of the construction material is the direct result of an absence of leadership and initiative at ministerial level and by the Board of Directors and executive team of Estate Management Business Development Corporation Ltd. (EMBDC).
The ineptitude has led to a simple administrative issue mushrooming into a full-scale crisis in the vital construction sector, manifested in steeper commodity prices and critical project delays.
Of note is that there was no such scarcity during the administration of the People’s Partnership, when there was the most extensive construction boom in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.
The current red sand shortage is also provoking questions about whether it is being deliberately created to introduce a well-known PNM financier as a quarry operator.
The issue has all the fingerprints of the Rowley regime – rank incompetence, absence of vision and enterprise, and unbridled corruption and cronyism.
The victims are the people of Trinidad and Tobago, who deserve improved infrastructure, and workers, some 30,000 of whom have been displaced over the past 22 months.