Hours after Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley criticised police for not investigating an $8.3 million bribery claim against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in connection with the Section 34 f
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Two Bosses Under Probe
The board of the National Entrepreneurship Development Company Ltd (Nedco) is examining the conduct of two senior Nedco officials, Labour Minister Errol Mcleod confirmed yesterday. Mcleod’s ministry oversees the functions of Nedco. NEDCO, according to its website, is a state-owned private limited liability micro-finance company established in August 2002. NEDCO was designed to be the implementing agency for government policy on micro and small enterprises (MSE).
Mcleod was at the time responding to a query from the T&T Guardian on activities in Nedco concerning the two senior officials. He said his response was confined to the fact that the Nedco board is examining the conduct of the two officials “in the performance of their functions at the company.” Sources indicated two senior Nedco officials were “offline” at the moment pending inquiries.
Nedco board sources last night also confirmed there is an investigation on and certain officials are not operational. Asked the nature of the investigation and what specific complaint had been lodged against them, they declined comment saying they didn’t want to prejudice the examination. In the absence of a Nedco communications officer, chief executive officer Ramlochan Ragoonanan said he was unware of any inquiries or any investigation when contacted yesterday.
He said he was on leave at this time and he had not received any official correspondence from the Nedco board about any inquiry. Ragoonanan said he had almost two and-a-half months leave inside and had taken about two weeks of “urgent leave” because he had a family matter to attend to. He said he had taken leave on his own and had not been asked to. Asked about allegations at the company, and any probes, he said Nedco had several audits ongoing, but that was in the line of normal work.
Ragoonanan, who has been CEO since October 2011, confirmed another senior official had also taken leave, but noted that had been applied for, before his own leave. Asked about complaints at Nedco, he said there were always complaints in a work place and there were always people with complaints. But he said he knew of no specific complaint being raised.
Asked if he would co-operate with any investigation that warrants his input, Ragoonanan said he would be open to giving any information required. He said his role was to facilitate. Another Nedco official is acting as CEO during Ragoonanan’s absence. Nedco board chairman Natasha Ramkissoon didn’t answer calls yesterday. Another Nedco board member said they had not attended board meetings recently.
Nedco’s board weathered several changes after members affiliated to the Movement for Social Justice stepped down when the MSJ left the People’s Partnership (PP).