We commend the Sunday Express investigative report dated January 12 headlined “Raking it in from Govt rent,” which amplifies a scandalous fact: we are throwing away our children’s wealth.
After the Patrick Manning administration promised our nation that the building of the Port of Spain Waterfront would save our country hundreds of millions in rental expenditure, it is now clear that the free-for-all resource curse squandermania rages on.
There is a public concern/perception that needs to be put to rest that government rentals are excessively inflated and that kickbacks are being paid.
In order to address this public interest concern, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) respectfully and publicly calls on Prime Minister Keith Rowley to clear his Government’s name and appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate and report to Parliament on whether property rentals paid for by the Government are of a comparable value to the private sector rentals for similar locations with similarly equipped facilities.
In our respectful view, the Government should deal with this public alarm of historic corruption in property rentals by the immediate appointment of a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary, independent committee to oversee government property rentals. This committee would operate under special terms of reference which should be concluded after wide public consultation.
An honest leader must protect the vulnerable. Many people are suffering in the face of this vulgar feeding frenzy.
Unless a leader unifies us as one people, the perception and probable abuse and financial rape of our vulnerable citizens and our children’s future will continue.