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PM apologises for ferry fiasco

Published: 
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday apologised to the people of Tobago over the Port Authority of T&T’s cancellation of the Ocean Flower 2 ferry contract, saying that the incident was of “great disappointment” to him.

Rowley, however, assured citizens of the country that his Government will make all reasonable efforts to have the situation remedied in the short term.

The PM’s assurance was issued via a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister.

Rowley noted the efforts made by those charged with the responsibility and the particular difficulties which they faced in the process of obtaining the vessel, but said it had been expected that at the end of these efforts the vessel would have at least been on the sea bridge route by this time.

Saying the majority of Tobagonians rely on the ferry service for their comfort and livelihood, he added, “In order to bring relief to those citizens who rely on this vital inter-island service I appeal to all those on the job of this assignment to redouble the efforts, without compromising principles and within all contractual safeguards to ensure that an acceptable service is restored at the earlier opportunity.”

He assured citizens that his Government was not unmindful of their plight.

“Once again I apologise to the affected citizens, in particular the people of Tobago, for whom the service is more of a lifeline,” Rowley said.

In another release yesterday, the OPM also announced that Rowley had left the country for a private weekend trip to Barbados. This follows a private trip he took to San Souci last weekend with wife Sharon Rowley.

The release said Rowley left yesterday and will return on Monday. It also noted that the travel and accommodation for this trip were paid by Rowley and not the State.

It did not state whether Mrs Rowley would be accompanying the Prime Minister on his weekend getaway.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert will act as prime minister.