Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles is backing Central Government’s efforts to restore reliability to the inter-island sea bridge.
On Friday (April 5), the Chief Secretary called on Tobagonians to support the Government as it seeks to improve the ferry service. He encouraged Tobagonians not to be swayed by negative comments about the fast ferry “Jean De La Valette”, which will soon be leased by Government to service the sea bridge.
“I believe that Minister [of Works and Transport Rohan] Sinanan and NIDCO [The National Infrastructure Development Company] in their press conference [on Thursday April 4] have provided pertinent information to allay the fears of Tobagonians regarding this ferry,” Charles said.
“What I see is a Government making every attempt to rectify an inherited problem, and that in itself, owing to the nature of the industry, has not been a smooth and easy journey.”
The Chief Secretary said it is important “that we speak out when we see others seeking to hamper and hinder our progress and development with mischief and misinformation”. He is assuring Tobagonians that the Government and the Tobago House of Assembly are not out to deceive the public.
The media conference hosted by NIDCO and the Ministry of Works and Transport was in response to Opposition criticism of the procurement process for the vessel. They revealed that the request for tenders was advertised in two major daily newspapers in August 2018.
They also stated that the vessel, at ten years, is the newest of the tenders received. They added that the vessel is in impressive condition, is well maintained and has the specifications most suited to the needs of the sea bridge. It can also support the operations of the Cabo Star cargo vessel.