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Chairman mum on PM’s talk of Port corruption

Published: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Acting CEO and general manager of the Port Authority Charmaine Lewis says she has “absolutely no comment at this time,” on allegations levelled against the Port by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

However, president of the Tobago Chamber Demi John Cruickshank dismissed allegations by Rowley that the business community misled the country by making the situation in Tobago to be worse than it actually was because of the sea bridge fiasco.

In an historic appearance by a Prime Minister before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, Rowley described the Port of Port- of-Spain as a den of “conflict, corruption and iniquity” and one which he said was in “great danger of being obliterated.”

He said, “A blind man on a galloping horse could see that something is wrong,” and if the Government did not “intervene and do something to bring it back, it will be spinning off into oblivion.”

Asked whether she felt the criticism by the Prime Minister was unfair Lewis said she had “no comment.”

She assured, however, that “if these issues come up at the JSC, and a question is put to me I will respond.”

Lewis is part of the Port team expected to return when hearings resume today. She said, “The entire forum has been one where you are allowed to be as candid as possible and I will do no different to what I did before.”

President of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) Michael Annisette said Rowley needed to identify who is to blame for the Port not being ready for vessels from Panama, ”is it the management or the Board? Who is to blame for the dilapidated state of the equipment at the Port, is it the Board, the workers or the management?”