The Tobago Council of the PNM is supporting the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) decision to consolidate three special purpose companies.
Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis announced last week that the Fish Processing Company (FIPCOT), the Tobago Cassava Products Limited (TCPL) and the Tobago Cold Storage and Warehouse Facility (TCOSWAF) will be incorporated into one, with a new mandate and a fresh vision, to ensure that the desired objectives are achieved.
The three companies will be subsumed into one company called the Tobago Agri-Business Company Limited and would be managed by a board of directors. The company would be formed by October 2020, and would fall under Secretary Hayden Spencer in the Division of Agriculture, Food Production and Fisheries.
Political Leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the new initiative will be more productive for the island.
“We have reasoned that the merging of these three companies, will give us a more streamlined, a more holistic approach and will help to achieve the one vision which is to ensure that we can have more mass production in Tobago and that our farmers and our fishermen can be taken care of in a particular way,” she said
Meanwhile, Minority Assemblyman Farley Augustine called on the THA to audit the three companies before they are consolidated.
However, responding to the statement, PRO Kwesi Des Vignes said, the auditing and procurement are a general practice by the current administration.
“Any doubt that may have existed before of politicians being involved in the procurement process is completely gone now because there are Procurement Units, there are Procurement Officers, there’s a process and again, so there’s a process for procurement, there’re processes for auditing, so there is not a single person here in the PNM Administration, who is afraid of any of type of audit, because it does not show up a deficiency in any way of the politician, so to speak and I think we all welcome audits, cause audits happen as part of the process and it’s not to be used as a big stick, or perceived as a big stick over anyone in the administration” Des Vignes said.