Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rowley: I’m ready to be next PM


PLANS IN PLACE: People’s National Movement political leader Dr Keith Rowley greets supporters during the party’s Sports and Family Day at the Guapo Beach Facility, Point Fortin, on Sunday. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

Mark Fraser

People’s National Movement (PNM) political leader Dr Keith Rowley says his slate is ready to fight the general election, after he wins the May 19  internal election.

Rowley said he was prepared to become the next Prime Minister and continue the work the PNM began to develop Trinidad and Tobago. He was speaking at a PNM rally and family day at the new Guapo Beach Facility, Point Fortin, on Sunday evening.

He enlightened his supporters on his recent trip to United Arab Emirates, saying he used the trip to examine Bahrain’s development and industrialisation in the past ten years.

“As I walked through Dubai, the country was extremely clean. Trinidad and Tobago can have a country like that. And as I talked to people there, the one thing I can tell was that there was a total absence of concern about crime. Crime was not an issue at all and investment was not affected,” he said.

Rowley said citizens in Bahrain were not falling sick and dying by the expansion of its aluminium smelter plant. Instead, he said, the country was using best technology to carve out a space for themselves in aluminium sales and supplies which make them the envy of the world.

Rowley had criticised the Government’s decision to shutdown the construction of the aluminium smelter plant in Point Fortin. He said the Union Industrial Estate in La Brea, which had tremendous potential, remained idle.

Rowley said his travels also took him to London, England, where he met leaders of British Petroleum (BP). As potential prime minister, Rowley, said he wanted to know where this country stood, as BP continues to sell out its peripheral assets.

“And now I understand clearly what BP has done. They sold off interest in north deep water and is now focusing fully and confidently in the southern basin where BP expects to make its major investment in Trinidad and Tobago. We need to understand what that means if we are going to build a future with respect to expansion with revenue,” he said.

Rowley advised the Government to understand what it meant by having confidence in the economy. He said the First Citizens fiasco clearly indicated there was an urgent need to restore confidence in the bank. 

“And to restore the confidence in First Citizens, to allow us to understand that people in charge take a kind of responsibility not only based on law and ethics, we need the board of First Citizens to be replaced having taken responsibility for the fiasco taking place there,” he said.

Rowley told residents of Point Fortin his Government would continue to develop their communities. He said the area was best suited for industrial expansion. He said the Union Industrial Estate in La Brea was not developed as the country lacked proper leadership.

He reminded supporters that a PNM government would abolish the Ministry of Local Government, giving more authority to regional corporations.