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Another worrying resignation

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The departure of Wendell Mottley is a major setback for Government’s Energy Task Force. Although he did not give a specific reason for stepping down as chairman, except for a broad hint about his age—he will soon be celebrating his 77th birthday—this development is worrying.

Earlier this year, respected economist Dr Terrance Farrell quit the Economic Advisory Board and soon after, there were other resignations until that body was eventually dissolved.

Word is that, as was the case then, the problem is slow or no implementation of recommendations.

To lose the services of Mr Mottley is a blow at this time, with the restructuring of Petrotrin at a critical stage and the oil and gas sector still facing numerous challenges, even with the resurgence of prices.

Apart from once serving as a minister of finance, Mr Mottley gained considerable experience in global finance when he was a senior adviser and investment banker at Credit Suisse in New York and a member of a special advisory committee to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank. T&T needs men of his calibre at the highest decision-making levels.

Inter-island concerns

With just over a month to go before the start of the July/August holidays, there are already concerns about the state of the air and sea links between Trinidad and Tobago.

With many problems still to be worked out on the seabridge and uncertainty over the actual arrival date of the long expected Galleons Passage, there are no guarantees of smooth operations on the route with the expected seasonal high demand.

Over the Easter holidays, which was a period of just a few days, contingency measures had to be put in place. This involved state-owned Caribbean Airlines picking up the slack with additional flights and supplementing its capacity with a wet-leased LIAT aircraft. Such an arrangement could turn out to be too costly over the eight-week vacation period.

If the relevant authorities are not already doing so, they should with urgency put in place contingencies to avoid the breakdowns and crises that have been erupting way too frequently since April 2017.

Happy Indian Arrival Day

It was 173 years ago on this date that the first East Indian indentured labourers set foot on T&T soil. Today we celebrate their strong cultural, social, and religious influence on this nation. Happy Indian Arrival Day to the descendants of those pioneers.


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