Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2017 Contents news A5
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Showroom at #41 Carlos Street, Woodbrook
The T&T Electricity Commission
owes the National Gas Company
US$516 million (TT$3.5 billion), anoth-
er $15.9 billion was paid out through
multiple dividends in one year and
millions of dollars of taxpayers' mon-
ey was mismanaged via unnecessary
community projects from 2012 to 2015.
These issues have significantly weakened
NGC's financial structure and put it in a
state from which it is still trying to recover,
the company's president, Mark loquan, told
a Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee
During the meeting in Parliament, Lo-
quan told the committee, chaired by Wade
Mark, that there has been no revised agree-
ment between T&TEC and NGC since 1994.
The bill still to be paid by the energy sup-
plier was equivalent to TT$3.5 billion, he
said. He said T&TEC has not been making
payments on a regular basis, hence the rea-
son for the hefty arrears.
But Loquan said solutions for a new con-
tract agreement were now being explored,
but final prices were yet to be determined.
"The T&TEC contract has not been in
place since 1994, so this is an area where
NGC continues to supply gas for power and
has not been able to receive payments on
a regular basis and has led to arrears and
underpayment back to the NGC for gas,"
Regarding exorbitant dividend payments
which were made when Indar Maharaj was
president, chairman Gerry Brooks told the
committee dividends were paid 11 times in
some cases during one year.
"The company paid in 2012 $1.2 billion,
in 2013 $4.2 billion, in 2014 $ 3.79 billion
and in 2015 $6.8 billion," Brooks said.
"The profit in 2012 was $4.42 billion after
tax and the dividends paid $4.2 billion. In
2013, $3.7 billion in dividends was paid...the
profitable tax is $3.8 billion. That is a clear
violation of the State Enterprises' Manual
by the then directors."
Brooks said in 2013 there were 11 dividend
payments, eight in 2014 and a "significant
" number of payments in 2015. In compari-
son, for the period 2009 to 2011, $1.17 billion
was paid in dividends.
The committee also heard that $90 mil-
lion was spent on a strategic plan for 2016
to 2020 under the pervious administra-
tion. When asked to identify the compa-
ny which was awarded the contract for the
plan, Brooks said he preferred to put this
Brooks and the new board members took
up positions in late September 2015. Yester-
day, he said his new executive was finalising
a strategic plan for 2017 to 2020.
The committee was also told that wages
and salaries moved from $338 million to
$623 million between 2014 to 2015. Total
staff cost was also increased from $433
million in 2014 to $ $750 million in 2015.
The NGC has 1047 employees.
VP, Finance and Information Manage-
ment Narinejit Pariag said salaries and
compensation costs increased during
that period, as there was a lag of market
Mark wants delinquent bodies penalised
Joint Select Committee chairman
Wade Mark says they are preparing
to make recommendations to impose
sanctions on entities which do not
comply with recommendations and
requests from the JSC.
Speaking at a press conference in Parlia-
ment after the JSC meet the National Gas
Company executive yesterday, Mark said
at present all the JSC could do was "name
and shame" those culpable.
"We may have to come to a point where
we will have to recommend that the State
Enterprise Performance Manual become a
legal document because right now it is only
a set of guidelines," Mark said.
He said at a committee meeting on Sep-
tember 7, 2016, the Sport Company of T&T,
Community Improvement Services Ltd,
Community-based Environmental Protec-
tion and Enhancement Programme (CE-
PEP), PLIPDECO, Solid Waste Management
Company Ltd and NGC were examined by
Among the significant issues were lack
of approved strategic plans for the current
period, absence of internal audit units and
late submission of audited financial state-
ments to Parliament.
Mark said under the committee's stand-
ing orders there was a provision that gave
the State enterprises 60 days to respond in
writing to the committee's recommenda-
tions and how this would be implemented.
"So far we have been able to get positive
responses," Mark added.
Asked if the committee's recommen-
dations were rejected, Mark said this was
not the case thus far. He said despite staff
challenges, the committee monitored the
entities to determine if recommendations
Pressed on what penalties could be im-
posed on entities that do not adhere to Par-
liament requests, he said decisive action
would be taken, adding, "At the end of the
day, a line minister is responsible for those
entities. So if any entity has defied us we go
to our superiors and seek their guidance.
This is the only way we can move forward."
This is why he said it was critical to get
the idea of real sanctions implemented.
Asked about making those who previ-
ously appeared before the JSC and were no
longer members of a State company respon-
sible for their negligent actions, member
Jennifer Baptiste-Primus said all State
enterprises must adhere to Parliament's
guidelines otherwise Cabinet would have
to take decisive action.
"When we sit here as a committee, one
of the most irritating factors is that we
are in 2017 and we have to look at reports
from 2009 to 2008 to 2006, ... therefore
it is historical information we are dealing
with," she said. ---GK
National Gas Company chairman Gerry Brooks, centre, speaks with Narinejit Pariag, right, NGC's vice president, Finance and Information
Management, during yesterday's Joint Select Committee meeting at the Parliament Building in Port-of-Spain. Also in photo is NGC president Mark
Loquan. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
The company also received $4.5 billion in claims
directly related to gas curtailment in the 2010 to 2015
period, which NGC is currently challenging in court.
Regarding penalty provisions so that NGC could also
sue conglomerates for shortfalls, Brooks said "a root
to branch" review of such agreements was needed.
The committee also heard that company's general
budget for community expenditure was $22 million
in 2011 but in 2012 rose to $40 million, $53 million
in 2013, $81 million in 2014 and $73 million a year
later. This represented $247 million over a four-year
time span. On top of this, the committee was told
the company spent $370 million on roadworks and
upgrade of recreational facilities, which had nothing
to do with NGC's core business.
T&TEC owes NGC $3.5b
JSC also hears of mispending by state entity
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