Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2014 Contents A7
Monday, August 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Following two oil spills, which
has already cost state-owned
Petrotrin millions of dollars and
affected the national revenue
earnings, acting Energy Minister
Dr Bhoe Tewarie said the Gov-
ernment has agreed to audit all
the assets of the oil company to
determine its integrity.
He said the substantive minister
Kevin Ramnarine brought a note
to Cabinet to have the assets of
the company audited and Cabinet
agreed to have it done. The min-
ister said this at last Thursday s
post-Cabinet news briefing held
at the San Fernando Teaching
Tewarie confirmed that the
infrastructure built to protect the
contents of the storage tanks at
the 100- year-old Petrotrin Refin-
ery, were not built to engineering
design specification and this would
have contributed to the oil spill
when Tank MP6 , which was built
in 1962, developed a leak last week
Tewarie also said it is possible
that condition of the tank might
have been flagged before but noth-
ing was done.
Tewarie said this spill has raised
the issue of managerial responsi-
bility. He said after this oil spill is
cleaned up, the board of manage-
ment will have to do some stock
taking in order to proceed for-
The minister said there were
two safety measures to prevent
the oil spill, a concrete wall and
an over flow pond.
Some 5,000 barrels seeped into
the Guaracara River, Petrotrin con-
Since the leak, five people have
been treated at Petrotrin s Augus-
tus Long Hospital at Pointe-a-
Pierre, Tewarie said.
The minister said he visited the
with Petrotrin president Khalid
Hassanali and other officials and
the company s instruction was
that the people should be their
primary focus . However, he said
from the inception officials were
on the ground providing meals,
comfort and medical care to those
affected by the fumes.
Following the December 17 oil
spill last year, Petrotrin was fined
$20,000 by the EMA for violation
of their handling of the situation.
Asked if the Environmental
Management Authority is also
investigating this spill, Tewarie
"I will not say an investigation."
He said the situation is being
monitored by the EMA and if any
wrong doing is uncovered, the
EMA will act accordingly.
Responding to the spill yester-
day, Singh said he was out of the
country at the time.
Anil Roberts s resignation from
the Government and the wanton
spending under the controversial
Life Sport programme should be
a warning for other ministers and
they should take heed.
So said president of the San Fer-
nando Business Association
Daphne Bartlett as she responded
to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar s announcement last
Thursday that she had accepted
Roberts s resignation.
Bartlett, in a telephone interview,
said Roberts was given the respon-
sibility, as minister, to be a manager
of the Sport Ministry and "when
given a responsibility as that (man-
ager) you have to take charge
because if you are spending your
own money, you do not spend
She said programmes, such as
Life Sport, are good "but it has to
be managed properly."
Bartlett said Roberts s resignation
and the situation coming out of
the Life Sport programme is not
only a warning for that ministry,
"it is a warning to all ministries
and the ministers who have the
actual responsibility of what takes
place in that ministry."
She questioned why warning
bells were not sounded earlier when
the Sport Minister kept going to
Cabinet and the Ministry of
Finance for further disbursements
for the Life Sport programme.
"Didn t they try to find out why
that programme needed extra mil-
lions of dollars? They had to get
the approval of Cabinet to release
more funds," she said.
She said people who contest
elections, win and are made min-
isters must remember that the
money they spend belongs to the
people of T&T and "as such they
should ensure that they do no
waste our funds."
She explained by waste she
means that government should be
conscious enough to recognise
when an item costs $10 they should
not be paying $100.
"We must get value for money,"
T&T, she said, is lucky to have
natural resources to ensure the
country has a buoyant economy.
She said the money spent under
the Life Sport programme is
enough to fund a small island, "in
fact some of the small islands spend
less than that in their budget."
She commended Persad-Bisses-
sar for her leadership and accepting
Roberts s resignation, but reminded
her that "at the end of the day the
buck will end up stopping with her
and she has to take charge and
show what kind of leader she is."
A last-minute trip for Chinese
food ended in tragedy for Barrack-
pore resident Shaun Sabessar on
Friday night. He was killed after a
van crashed head-on into his car.
Sabessar, 25, of New Colonial Road,
Barrackpore, was planning to marry
his longtime girlfriend, Crystal Sar,
after he graduated at the end of this
month with his engineer and electrical
technician certification from the
National Energy Skills Centre (NESC).
When a news team from the Sun-
day Guardian visited their Barrack-
pore home family members were try-
ing to come to terms with Sabessar s
Sabessar s elder brother Shane, 40,
said no one was expected Sabessar
to be killed.
"He just went to Debe to get some
Chinese food. He left home about
about 5.30 pm that there was an acci-
dent. When we got there the ambu-
lance and fire service was already
there. He liked Chinese food. He went
to buy dinner for us," Shane said.
He explained that his brother was
driving his Nissan Sunny along the
refurbished Digity Road, Barrackpore.
A car, he said, was driving on the
opposite lane when a black Navara
overtook that vehicle and slammed
into Sabessar s car.
The driver of the Navara sustained
minor injuries and was taken for
medical treatment. The driver was
taken into custody for questioning.
to be audited
Trip for Chinese food ends in fatal crash
South business president on Life Sport programme:
A warning for ministers
Youngsters look on as a member of the Air Guard walks by with his rifle
following a military parade at the Arima Velodrome as Arima Fest 2014
continued yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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