The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) has demanded the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) produce audited reports of the Cassava Company, Fish Processing Unit and the Tobago Cold Storage & Warehouse Facility before the entities are subsumed.
“We need to see an audited report for those three companies immediately. And those companies must be audited by external auditors,” PDP deputy political leader Farley Augustine said on Thursday at a news conference at the Minority Leader’s office in Scarborough.
At Wednesday’s post executive council briefing, Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis said a decision was taken to close down the three companies and establish the Tobago Agri-Business Company Ltd.
He said Secretary of Food Production Hayden Spencer put forward the recommendation to shut down the companies and it was approved by the executive council.
Dennis said the decision was taken based on research and feasibility exercises carried out over the years to determine their viability.
The Tobago Agri-Business Company Ltd is expected to begin operations on October 1.
Augustine also sought answers from the THA as to why the companies were allowed to fail over the years.
“It is amazing that the people who were there when these companies were started, the people who sat in executive council who, like these three companies, failed and failed and failed year after year, somehow feel that by bringing the three failures together, you will make success. I don’t think so. I am not so hopeful."
Augustine claimed Spencer is on pre-retirement leave “so he ent fighting up too much.”
The Speyside/L’anse Fourmi/Parlatuvier representative described the Cassava Company as “deficient and unproductive.
“You could barely get a pack of farine from the cassava company.”
He added farmers have also complained the company was not accepting their cassava.
Augustine said the company was full of “party faithful and...blue-eyed boys and girls. That is what the Cassava Company is.”
He said the PDP is not optimistic the new entity will be a success.
“We are not very expectant or hopeful that bringing these three failure companies into one will magically result in success. There is no magic in making three failed companies work by just bringing them together.”