Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2015 Contents RESHMA RAGOONATH AND SHALIZA HASSANALI
The ability of newly sworn in Energy Minister
Nicole Olivierre to work with the National Gas
Company (NGC) and her capacity to manage
this critical sector are being called into question
as oil prices continue to slide.
Olivierre, the newly elected La Brea MP, has
been embroiled in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit
with the management of this critical state agency,
which now falls under her control.
Yesterday, political analyst and economist Indera
Sagewan-Alli expressed reservations about
Olivierre s appointment given the pending lawsuit
and her inexperience.
"I cannot see how sensible it would be to have
a minister in a ministry to whom an institution
has to report to while she is embroiled in a lit-
igation with them. So it is anybody s guess at
this time as to how this is going to play out or
be resolved," she said.
In 2012 Olivierre, who was employed at NGC
since 2002, filed a complaint of wrongful dismissal
against the NGC at the Equal Opportunities
Commission (EOC). She alleged racial discrim-
ination by the company, claiming that NGC
refused her access to opportunities for training
and promotion based on her race. The matter is
still before the EOC.
Sagewan-Alli said she believed a critical factor
at this time was the minister resolving the lawsuit
and determining to what extent she could work
with the NGC.
"Is she prepared to drop the lawsuit in the
interest of good faith? To say, look the past is the
past, but now I am on new things. Is she prepared
to do that? I think we will just have to wait and
see," Sagewan-Alli said.
Sagewan-Alli said that only time would tell if
Olivierre would be able to look past her previous
interaction at the NGC and work with the state
enterprise s senior management.
She said Olivierre should be given the benefit
of the doubt.
"If she follows in the words of her political
leader, who has indicated he is the Prime Minister
of the entire country, which means that she is
the Minister of Energy for all the country and
including all the institutions that must report to
her, therefore she must act with fairness," Sage-
She said there was no way the Energy Minister
could avoid having to work very intimately with
the NGC, which is one of this country s major
sources of income.
"I think resolution of this particular issue has
to be done ASAP. We know that the board will
change and the PNM will put in its own board,
so she will not have a problem or challenge work-
ing with a board of the government s choice, but
the senior management will remain.
"Is there an acrimonious relationship with her
and the senior top management?" she asked.
While Olivierre has a degree in engineering,
Sagewan-Alli questioned how many years of
experience and depth of experience she has.
"It is something we have to be very concerned
about because of the (Energy) sector," she said.
Olivierre declined to share her cellphone number
when approached by the Sunday Guardian after
being sworn in at Queen s Hall, St Ann s, on
Friday. She therefore could not be reached for
(See editorial on Page A18)
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two friends were gunned down in Belmont
yesterday afternoon in what police described
as a reprisal shooting. According to police,
the two young men were killed around 2.20
pm as they sat in a car at the corner of Erthig
Road and Cazabon Lane, Belmont.
The two, Amit Ramlogan, 18, of Davis Street,
Belmont, and Kareem Turton, 28, were outside
Turton s home in a white Nissan B-14 belonging
to a relative of Ramlogan s when gunmen riddled
the car with bullets from a high-powered rifle.
Police said residents of Erthig Road heard the
gunshots and later found the two men dead.
Officers of the Belmont Police Station along
with PC Ramroop and Cpl Seecharan of the
Homicide Bureau of Investigations responded
to the shootings.
Police said last week a relative of Ramlogan s
was reported to have shot at a group of men.
The intended targets survived and are believed
to have pounced on the duo thinking it was
Ramlogan s relative, since the teen was driving
the relative s car.
In an unrelated incident, Homicide detectives
are investigating the murder of a man early
yesterday morning in the St Joseph area. The
man, who up to late yesterday was not iden-
tified, was found around 2 am by limers of Red
Light Bar, along the Eastern Main Road, with
gunshot wounds to his body.
Police said the patrons heard gunshots and
scampered. After the shooting the limers found
the body of a man of African descent face down
on the roadway.
A Moruga man was also beaten to death in
his hometown early yesterday morning. (See
The murders this weekend have taken the
toll to 296 for the year, according to the Homi-
cide Bureau of Investigations.
Meanwhile, police said an autopsy would be
done on the body of a San Juan man who died
at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex
three weeks after being warded following a
According to police, Felix "Rickie" Singh was
found along Hunte Street, San Juan, a short
distance from his home on August 18, around
2 am. Singh was taken to the hospital where
he had been warded ever since. Singh died
early Friday morning. Police officers believe
that he died as a result of injuries from the
beating he sustained. The autopsy will determine
whether Singh s death should be classified as
a murder. (See Page A8)
September 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Belmont men gunned
down in reprisal shooting
...police report four murders yesterday
Concerns raised about new energy minister
...Olivierre has been embroiled in lawsuit with NGC
Last night, NGC Marketing and Communications
manager Roger Sant did not comment on the
matter, but said in a release:
"On behalf of NGC, we wish to extend our sincere
congratulations to Ms Nicole Olivierre on the
occasion of her appointment as The Honourable
Minister of Energy and Energy Industries. We take
pride in the appointment of one of our own former
employees to this important position and extend
our best wishes to the Honourable Minister for
every success in the fulfillment of her duties."
NGC CONGRATULATES OLIVIERRE
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