Thursday 9 July, 2020

Rowley: I made enemies in this office

Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan & Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley unveil a plaque commemorating the opening of the Curepe Interchange (via Office of the Prime Minister)

Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan & Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley unveil a plaque commemorating the opening of the Curepe Interchange (via Office of the Prime Minister)

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says his penchant for putting the country’s interests first has cost him quite a few relationships during his tenure. 

Speaking at the official opening of the Curepe Interchange, Dr Rowley said he doesn’t mind the cold shoulders. 

“The job that I have as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, dedicated to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, involves making a lot of enemies, because if you don’t make those enemies you would simply, at best, carry on,” he said. 

Dr Rowley reiterated the importance of getting value for money on the project. The previous administration had awarded a contract which would have cost $200 million more. 

“Ask yourself, how could that be? Same concrete, same steel, same land, same everything but you could have spent $200 million more on it,” he said. 

The Prime Minister says that for a long time citizens of T&T were used to hearing of exorbitant prices for projects like the interchange, so $440 million wouldn’t seem odd, but within his own office, he couldn’t accept it. 

“The people of this country had been conditioned to paying those kinds of prices. Conditioned to being overcharged, conditioned to being ripped off, conditioned to watch ministers come into government like Ms Howard Cat; some of them with an old used motor car, by the time they go out, their name changed and they could loan money to the treasury. And I make no apologies for this because I speak for those who have no voice in this country,” he relayed emphatically. 

Dr Rowley says he’s proud to have been able to complete the project under the circumstances of ‘doing more with less’. 

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