Given the announcement of Government to remove Wilfred Espinet as Chairman of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings (TPH) as well as a member of the boards of its subsidiaries, the question must be put to the Prime Minister as to who is he trying to fool with this move ?
The Prime Minister must tell this nation what has changed, causing this sudden, out of the blue move to remove Espinet, when only in March of this year he alluded in the Parliament that he had confidence in Espinet. Even in his national address in January he expressed his support for Espinet.
The Prime Minister was quite content when Espinet was undertaking his reign of destruction which resulted in over 9000 being placed on the breadline, hundreds of businesses being closed, our fuel security being jeopardized and our national patrimony being torn apart.
When Espinet told the nation “all, all, all going home” the Prime Minister didn’t utter a single word to the citizens who elected him.
For over 11 months the Prime Minister sat by as Espinet engaged in the most callous, compassionless and cruel modus operandi which was complimented by his consistent untruths as well as acts of deceit that has been detrimental to our energy security. Even worse, during his tenure the Prime Minister allowed the views and calls of Espinet to supersede some of his own Cabinet members.
Therefore, we ask the Prime Minister, “why have you now acted after the carnage and destruction has been done?”
The country will never forget nor forgive the hatchet job Wilfred Espinet undertook for the Rowley regime.
However overdue Espinet’s removal may be, his replacements give no confidence, comfort or hope for growth of these entities. Yet again the Rowley administration has placed “square pegs in round holes”
It is an insult to each and every energy stakeholder within our energy sector when the company identified by Government to be the pillar and saviour of our national energy sector will now have leaders with no experience in this field.
How would the Government achieve their plans of increased oil production, energy security and industrial efficiency when none of these individuals have a track record of any substance within the energy sector?
As a matter of fact, beside the concerns generated by high profile relations and family ties of some of these new appointees, greater concern is raised with the conflict of interest some of these individuals have “bolstered” to their chests.
One must remember that the new Chairman of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd was also the Lawyer for the Prime Minister in his defense against the fake oil allegations. Given that these investigations are still outgoing, how can he now chair the company which is a critical player in these investigations?
Further questions surround the appointment of Newman George who besides serving on numerous boards already, was Chairman of the HDC when numerous allegations were raised against then Housing Minister, Marlene McDonald.
These appointments have not only thrown the future performance of these companies into doubt given the lack of experience, but have further thrown their integrity into disrepute given the questions surrounding these individuals.