A LIVID Alderman Wendell Stephen lambasted the Port of Spain Corporation during their monthly statutory meeting on Friday, as nothing was done to make good on a promise to provide 314 electronic devices to children of PoS, a month after the promise was made.
Stephen scolded city councillors and complained of the bureaucratic delays that stunts the actions of the corporation. “At the last statutory meeting a month ago, I stood here as Chairman of Finance and based on an e-mail sent to members of council the day before, said that the tablets were being procured that very same day, the purchase order went to the supplier and that we may have even gotten the tablets before the end of that day. That was a month ago,” he said.
Stephen said since the announcement of the distribution of the tablets, several private and public entities have stepped forward. “I am sure you would have seen in the news all the generous donations that the business community and the Ministry of Education and the entertainers who have been reaching out, largely based on a news item that carried the capital city in TT were giving out tablets.”
He pointed out that Machel Montano donated 200 devices – 185 laptops and 15 tablets. The US Embassy also donated 40 tablets to the Diego Martin Primary School. A construction company donated another 40 tablets to Mayaro RC School.
“ Lo and behold, no tablets were delivered to members of council so they could distribute to children. Not even a Panadol,” Stephen said. “Simply because of discrepancies and bureaucratic delays that bogs this city down every single month, and every single term. It is very disturbing.”
A month ago, Stephen told Newsday that 144 tablets were ordered for students at a cost of $65,000. He said another allocation of $85,000 would be spent to buy another 170 tablets, for a total of 314.
He said each councillor will be allocated a number of devices to distribute to children in their district or burgess. Back then, he said the devices would be available in about a week. Stephen said the tablets would be paid for through a covid19 fund Government had set up for all corporations to access. But up to yesterday nothing had been done. “I don’t know what else to say. I give up,” he said.