National Security Minister Stuart Young should have stayed at home to supervise his ministry’s Venezuelan migrant registration exercise this week rather than accompany Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on his current overseas trip.
So said Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal yesterday, following word that Young—who’s also Minister in the PM’s Office—was among Government’s delegation which left yesterday with Rowley on his overseas trip. They’re headed for energy sector talks in Holland, London and the United States. Also in the delegation are Minister in Finance Allyson West and Energy Minister Franklin Khan, the Office of the PM confirmed.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert will act as Prime Minister in Rowley’s absence.
Last week, Rowley said the trip would be for 10 days but the OPM’s release yesterday didn’t give a return date. The team left for Holland via London yesterday.
Rowley said last week that contracts are expected to be signed with Shell in Holland. The PM has been invited to meet Shell’s CEO follows recent negotiations with Shell.
The team next goes to London to meet BP executives and EOG Resources. Rowley will also meet with T&T nationals while in London next weekend.
During recent Parliamentary debate where problems with BP’s natural gas supply figured, Rowley said that issue brought Government to “the whole question of what’s happening with our marginal fields.” He noted a May report on the evaluation of T&T’s marginal fields, sent to his Permanent Secretary. That showed Government’s work on the marginal fields, including a table on “BP’s Small Pool Reserves,” plus a technical summary.
“... This puts us in a position to talk to BP about the future of these marginal fields,” he’d added.
En route back home, the delegation will visit Houston to meet Shell technocrats.
The OPM’s release didn’t state who’ll act for Young. Government sources said former national security minister, now Housing minister Edmund Dillon - who’s acted as National Security Minister recently - may act.
However, Moonilal noted that the Venezuelan amnesty registration exercise to be piloted by Young’s ministry will be launched on Friday and continue for two weeks. It’s geared to ascertain how many Venezuelans are in T&T and offer a one-year work clearance.
“It’s obscene that the National Security Minister absconds on the eve of this exercise which has never been attempted and with crime on the ascent. In fact, it seems he may be away for most of the exercise. But rather than globe-trotting with the PM for energy issues - on which he has no responsibility - he should have stayed home and handled his own National Security work and answered all the queries which will flow from this exercise,” Moonilal said.
“Some Venezuelans may have no fixed address to give, so if people go to look for them at an address they put, it may be false. They may have no IDs and names may be false - how will the exercise succeed? Also, with the new ‘residents’ we may need bilingual police to keep order in T&T. Has the National Security Minister addressed this? But since Minister Young has gone, he ought not to return...”