Dennis: Sometimes PM should mind Tobago’s business

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ancil Dennis –

Former chief secretary and political leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council Ancil Dennis has issued a word of caution to THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and his team.

Just over a week ago, in a Facebook post, Augustine told the Prime Minister to mind his own business and stay out of Tobago affairs. He was reacting to Dr Rowley’s call for fresh THA elections.

Dennis said in times past, before the current administration, the people of Tobago and the THA benefited from collaborations between the assembly and the Central Government.

“In those circumstances it required to some extent those in the Central Government, including the Prime Minister, to mind Tobago’s business for a bit, because of course, we expect that the THA and those with responsibility for managing the affairs of the island will mind their business and mind our business here in Tobago.

“But there are some things and there are some benefits to be derived through collaboration and through to some extent the Central Government minding Tobago’s business.”

He said he wanted to caution to the assembly and by extension, the chief secretary, adding that this current environment does not facilitate collaboration or strong and meaningful relationships as it relates to Tobago’s governance. He pointed to projects such as the Roxborough Hospital and the Roxborough Fire Station.

“If the Central Government and the Prime Minister specifically now, and even those in the past, chose to mind their business and stay out of Tobago’s affairs, there might have been no way for us to benefit from those facilities and from those developments.

“Again, the point is, outside beyond the THA’s allocation, which legally is between 4.03 and 6.9 per cent of the national budget, the central government in the past facilitated collaboration with the THA for Tobago to have those benefits.”

So the idea that the Central Government and the Prime Minister, who is the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago should stay out of Tobago people’s business, he said, did not augur well for Tobago’s development.