Trinidad & Tobago
2 min read
“Disorganisation” by Expo Trinidad and Tobago led the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Executive Council to pay $178,724.17 to get a Tobago team to Dubai for Expo 2020.
The clarification came from Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, who sought to set the record straight on the expenses paid out of the council’s funds for the trip, after concerns aired by Minority Leader Kelvon Morris.
Speaking at the Post Executive Council briefing yesterday, Augustine said while Expo Trinidad and Tobago extended an all-expenses-paid invitation to the Chief Secretary to attend the Dubai Expo, he delegated to Deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke.
Augustine said there was disorganisation from Expo T&T regarding payment for tickets and visas for Duke; Tobago Tourism Agency CEO Louis Lewis and Manager of the Business Development Unit Shellyann Baptiste.
The Chief Secretary explained that this was the reason for the Council covering the payments. They will, however, seek a reimbursement.
He also hit back at claims that Duke misbehaved and represented Tobago poorly in Dubai, saying a voice note currently in circulation is no proof this took place.
Duke, along with public servants, is scheduled to meet with groups interested in investing in Tobago. The Deputy Chief Secretary will give a report on his trip when he returns.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport, Assemblyman Terance Baynes said CEPEP and Reforestation workers have been paid.
He said he met with workers who informed him that they were paid up-to-date.
Baynes assured, however, that he’s working with his Division to prevent future delays in payments.
He disclosed that he was selected for the Tobago delegation to head to Dubai but declined.
Baynes also responded to Morris’ claims, stating that mischievous narratives need to be put to rest, with focus on leading Tobago being the number one priority.
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