It is quite ironic and unfortunate that Member of Parliament for La Brea; Nicole Olivierrie has sought to put the blame on past protest action of La Brea residents and former employees involved in the building of the Juniper Platform as the core reason for Energy Giant BP opting not to construct the Angelin platform within Trinidad and Tobago and more specifically La Brea.
The fact is the major defaulting reason which has led to this major loss is the incompetence of the current administration and their inability to provide the proper conditions needed to sustain Foreign Direct Investment, generate investor confidence as well as follow through with critical initiatives within the energy sector.
Bp’s decision not to utilize Trinidad and Tobago as the location to build the multi-million dollar project must not be thrown at the feet of workers and citizens who only wanted better wages but is majorly as a result of Government failing to negotiate a new contract between the National Gas Company (NGC) and BP in a timely manner. The late finalization of these negotiations which are taking place currently should have been done in the second quarter of 2016 but Government continued its laissez faire approach and now BP in an effort to meet its schedule of 2019 are forced to use other means of construction.
Therefore the loss of this valuable Foreign Direct Investment which would have resulted in millions of dollars in foreign exchange in an economy deeply challenged for foreign exchange as well as job creation within our local labour market which has been constantly hemorrhaging workers in the past 18 months lies totally “at the feet” of the Keith Rowley Led administration.
This incident further demonstrates the inability of the Government to create a sustainable lucrative investing environment, enact any new economic incentives within the energy sector as well as mobilize any potent policies which would facilitate growth of the oil and gas sector and by extension the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Trinidad and Tobago energy sector continues to witness is Retroactive development as all of the current plans and projects which are being hailed as successes are actually plans of the past Peoples Partnership Administration such as the Angelin project which came into the “pipeline” when the Juniper Project was started.
It is time this Government end their charade of fooling the population that they are developing Trinidad and Tobago’s most critical sector and actually engage in effective project development as failure to do so will be catastrophic to national stability and prosperity.
Dr. David Lee,
Chairman, United National Congress & Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre.