THE PRIME MINISTER yesterday accused the Opposition of promoting a pessimistic approach to governance and said it had not acknowledged government’s attempts to bring about an economic turnaround.
At a distribution ceremony at the Spring View Housing Development Estate in Valsayn yesterday, Dr Keith Rowley blasted the Opposition for not wanting citizens to feel at ease.
“They are so disappointed when things are going well. And if we are going through a rough patch, as we are now, some people are so disappointed as it appears we might be coming out of this rough patch. Do you know how many people are upset that the oil price has gone up? Accusing the government of wanting to live off the oil price, as if we should apologise for that? If the price goes up, shouldn’t the citizens have a smile on their face?”
Rowley also provided a brief history of the project’s development and challenges over the years at a distribution ceremony yesterday in which he lamented mismanagement during his tenure as Housing Minister in 2007 and stalled completion during the People’s Partnership administration.
He said government had information which implicated one former public official in corrupt transactions.
“That government that came in after the PNM government fell in 2010, spent five years in office and left this project unattended. In those days we had much more money than we have now, because information coming to the government today shows that one public official and his friends stole more money on one project than it would have taken to finish this housing project.”
He added that government has taken the matter to court and claimed one company had bought a parcel of land for an estimated $120 million more than the land was valued at. This malfeasance, he said, was responsible for the slow pace of development at the estate, where applicants could have been living for the past seven years.