Three cheques amounting close to $1.5 million have been stolen and cashed from the Arima corporation last Friday afternoon, according to Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein.
Hosein disclosed the information today during the signing of Permanent Establishments for the Daily Rated Workers, at the ministry’s office, Kent House, Long Circular Road, Maraval.
A total of 645 daily rated workers from nine regional corporations including the Point Fortin borough Corporation and the Chaguanas borough corporation have been promoted to fill vacancies within the ministry.
While the ministry is still gathering information, Hosein said one person is in police custody and the matter is now being investigated by the TTPS Fraud Squad.
“CEOs you all have to be more careful,” Hosein warned. “It is not only about being in charge but you have to be responsible.”
Hosein called on CEOs of the corporations to be very vigilant, and to do their job honestly and sincerely because it is a serious matter.
“CEOs have a duty to advise the council and to do so properly. No one is in charge of any corporation. You are responsible. You have a responsibility. It does not belong to you. You must have consultation with everybody. I want you all to take charge of the corporation and advise councils properly.”
He continued, “I have been getting a lot of negative reports. People come to work late, which is a fact. They come to work nine o’clock and leave two o’clock and that should not be tolerated at all. When the daily paid workers see the supervisors doing this, what do you expect? They will do the same thing. It should not happen.”
Hosein said he has evidence and was informed that workers go home with government vehicles Sunday to Sunday, and overtime costing the country hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He asked those who use the government vehicles to “please do the right thing.”
“The vehicles do not belong to you, just as the corporations do not belong to you. Don’t take it home and keep it over night. Put the logo on the vehicles. I have evidence where people go home with vehicles Sunday to Sunday, overtime going up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and should not be so.”
He continued, “No one is bigger than nobody in this job. It is happening in most of the corporations.”
Meanwhile, President of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), James Lambert called on the government to do more for the regional corporations, and indicated the signing should have taken place months ago.