?Trade unionist Michael Annisette is a director of at least six state companies, investigations have revealed, and is expected to chair the board of Nipdec, following Saturday's forced resignation of state board supremo, Calder Hart.
Annisette, along with his fellow directors, is under pressure to quit the board of Udecott. (See story on page 14). Checks on the websites of state-owned special purpose companies revealed Annisette is a director of Udecott, the National Insurance Board (NIB), the National Insurance Property Development Company (Nipdec), Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance (TTMF), Home Mortgage Bank (HMB) and Port Authority. TTMF is jointly owned by the NIB and the Government in a 51/49 per cent ratio. Annisette, who is also an Independent senator, receives thousands of dollars a month to serve as a director on the six boards. Hart was chairman of five of those companies–Udecott, NIB, Nipdec, TTMF and HMB–until Saturday when he issued a resignation letter after being forced to do so by a senior Government official, according to sources.
A Nipdec information memorandum for an 18-year, 6.5 per cent $500 million bond describes Annisette as the deputy chairman of Nipdec and it is expected that he will chair the next meeting of the board of the property development company. None of Annisette's colleagues on the the Udecott board sits on as many board as he does. Krishna Bahadoorsingh, who is the deputy chairman of Udecott, sits on the board of Nipdec. Nineteen people serve on the five state boards boards that were headed by Hart. Annisette is the only one, apart from Hart, who is a director on all five boards. Seeram Maharaj, who is a business representative on the tri-partite NIB board, sits on the board of Nipdec. Joan John, who is the deputy Governor of the Central Bank, sits as a Government director on the board of NIB and on its subsidiary, Nipdec. Inez Sinanan also sits as a Government representative on the NIB board and on the board of Nipdec.
Meanwhile, there are moves afoot among Independent senators to approach President George Maxwell Richards with a view to having discussions with him on Annisette's status in the Senate, sources close to the senators disclosed. One source, who requested anonymity because of the delicate nature of the situation, described Annisette's statement, published in yesterday's Guardian, that Udecott had done nothing wrong, as inappropriate as it came just before the release of the report of the Uff Commission of Enquiry.