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EDAB chairman: Prioritise PSIP projects

Published: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB), Dr Terrence Farrell, centre, speaks during the question and answer session of the Ministry of Planning and EDAB’s event entitled ‘Promoting Innovation for Diversification: Moving Forward’ at Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre in Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Chairman of Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) Terrence Farrell is calling for projects under the Public Sector Infrastructure Program (PSIP) to be prioritised in order to achieve T&T’s diversification goals at a faster rate.

He said the purpose of prioritising should be to ensure that the projects to be completed support T&T’s diversification initiatives.

“The infrastructure that we are talking about is the infrastructure that supports diversification. When the Government has its PSIP with all the infrastructure projects it wants to do-in terms of prioritising the infrastructure projects, it must look and say, are these projects going to support diversification?”

Farrell was speaking at a seminar titled, “Promoting Innovation for Diversification: Moving Forward,” which was held yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain.

Referring specifically to the $400 million highway to be constructed to Manzanilla, Farrell questioned why that project was given priority over the refurbishment of the Tobago airport.

“Without being critical, why am I (the T&T Government) building a $400 million highway to Manzanilla and I don’t have the Tobago airport in my PSIP this year? “Why am I building a $400 million highway to Cumuto and the Tobago airport was in the PSIP a couple of years ago, it needs to be there. If Sandals is coming to Tobago for tourism, that airport has to be completely upgraded.”

The award of the contract to construct the Manzanilla highway was announced late September while in mid-October the Government signed the MoU to officially start the construction of the Sandals Resort in Tobago.

Farrell noted that the prioritisation of T&T’s infrastructure projects must be in line with the country’s diversification initiatives.

On the issue of other projects, which the EDAB is working on, he said a logistics study was completed concerning the Port of Port-of-Spain and it is to be presented to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley soon. He confirmed that a meeting is expected to be held with consultants who completed a study on the port.

“A new Port of Port-of-Spain, in fact tomorrow there is a meeting with the consultants with the port study. The Port of Port-of-Spain, a new logistics hub that supports what we might want to do in Guyana, that supports Eastern Venezuela and North Eastern Brazil and the Eastern Caribbean,” he said.