Thursday 9 July, 2020

Opposition slams 'underhandedness' of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings

Opposition MP David Lee has criticised the latest action by the Trinidad Petroleum Holdings board, led by Wilfred Espinet, to appoint a team to oversee Heritage Petroleum Limited.

In a statement on Tuesday, Lee said the move was an attempt to cover up the shameful fact that the company is without a competent leadership at this time.

He stated that it was ironic that only after the Opposition raised the issue of Heritage Petroleum Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Wylie being away from the company for two months that the board, as the article stated, “agreed that this arrangement was not good enough and a committee including senior management, board members and Wiley would be formed to oversee the day to day operations of the state company.”

"Had the Opposition not raised this issue publicly our national community and local energy stakeholders would have not been aware of such critical information. Even worse, had the Opposition not raised this issue, the Company that this Government boasted would turn around the energy sector would have been allowed to be operated like a “rudderless ship” in the absence of potent, experienced leadership."

The UNC MP said these actions are just part of the continued underhanded manner of operation by Espinet and the Rowley led Government on Petrotrin related issues.

"Yet again we see that the government’s rushed, unplanned way of closing down Petrotrin continues to backfire as these companies have been formed on “fragile ground” resulting in numerous functional issues to the detriment of our energy sector."

"The Trinidad Petroleum Board must end its secrecy and inform the population who are the members of the committee and the basis of their appointment."

Lee added that the company must inform the population how long his arrangement will be in place as well as the sustainability of such an arrangement.

"The question has to be asked, can the company be run by a committee and how will this affect the various chains of command, reporting lines, effective decision making as well as the corporate structure of the company? With t​his unsettled, unsure, inconsistent and even haphazard form of management, the company will surely find difficulties to achieve not only the goals set by this government but may also lose its footing in the global market given these hindrances it faces in such an early stage of its development."

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