Today’s report that international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has downgraded Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited is further evidence of a continued collapse of confidence in the PNM Government and is completely unacceptable said MP for Oropouche West Davendranath Tancoo.
Over the last 6 years, as the country’s economy contracted, both S&P’s and Moody’s have downgraded Trinidad and Tobago repeatedly, which means falling confidence in the country being able to meet its obligations under the management of Colm Imbert as Minister of Finance and Keith Rowley as Prime Minister.
Even more worrying is that the recent S&P downgrade highlighted concerns that
” although it (TPHL) has published the financial statements of its operating subsidiaries, Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd. and Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd. since 2019, TPHL has been breaching one of its administrative covenants related to the publication of the group’s financial statements.”
This breach has reportedly prompted the re-classification of the company’s total debt in the balance sheet, for financial reporting purposes as is due in the short-term.
Worse, the agency warned that the company faces near-term debt maturities which would pressure the company’s liquidity position if not immediately addressed.
The Opposition agrees with S&P’s stated conclusion that this fiasco “reflects negatively on its management and governance assessment at the holding level.”
TPHL is the parent company formed when the PNM government closed down the refinery and operations of Petrotrin, causing widespread job-loss and economic depression in multiple communities.
MP Tancoo stated that it is unacceptable that the Government continues to fail in the performance of its fiduciary duties to manage and account for the nation’s resources, while simultaneously introducing additional tax burdens on an already overburdened population.
” Why is no one paying attention to these companies who are spending hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars? Why are taxpayers’ paying a Board of Directors and a Minister to turn a blind eye? ” asked Tancoo.
These are questions which the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and the Rowley government must answer now and account to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago says MP Tancoo.