Tuesday, 03 April 2012 02:31
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - The Member of Parliament for St Mary’s North has fully supported the call by Wilmoth Daniel, Member for St Phillips North, for a public inquiry into the purchase of six engines, six generators, auxiliaries, and components to establish the Wadadli Power Plant at Crabbes Peninsula.
The St Mary’s North Representative, Molwyn Joseph, was reacting to a letter sent to Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer by his Cabinet colleague, Daniel, requesting “nothing less than a full and transparent public inquiry”.
Daniel’s call for a public inquiry, Joseph said in a release, is consistent with the efforts of several Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ALP) officials spearheaded by Joseph and Robin Yearwood since the Budget Debate of December 2011.
The parliamentarians demanded that the government provide documentary evidence that the government received value for the U$47 M paid for the plant.
The MP from St Mary’s North continues to call on the minister responsible for Utilities, Baldwin Spencer, to provide evidential assurances that the US$47,000,000 paid to three companies in China, on the instruction of APUA, were indeed spent on new engines and new generators.
Joseph said, “I have been unrelenting in trying to get the Prime Minister to provide documentary evidence, all to no avail. Well, Mr Daniel has clearly pointed to the direction required for the nation to be satisfied."
Joseph quoted from Daniel’s letter to the prime minister: “Since commissioning this plant the government has gone on record in declaring it to be New. Mr Prime Minister when I posed questions to you in the cabinet, you confirm (sic) then that the engines were indeed new.
However, I was shocked by your revelation, since I had reported that in a telephone conversation with Ambassador David Shoul, he informed me that we (meaning he and APUA) negotiated for the purchase of used generators and that he never told anybody that the generators were new.”
Given the serious nature of these allegations and developments, Joseph said he anticipates that the entire leadership of the ALP will join him in a call for a commission of inquiry.
The St Mary’s North representative said he intends to meet with Leader of the Party Lester Bird, and the chairman, Gaston Browne, to develop a well-thought-out strategic response to these developments.
He also called upon Minister of Finance Harold Lovell to investigate the legitimacy of all expenditures associated with this purchase to determine whether the people of Antigua and Barbuda received value for money spent.
Joseph said the ALP Thursday night public meetings have been energizing the party's support base and drawing many UPP supporters who have a keen interest in the subject of the generators and especially whether the government got value for money.
The St Mary’s North representative thanked all those who listened and came away with a greater appreciation for the enormity of the task. The meetings will continue, Joseph confirmed, until every nook and cranny across the nation has had an opportunity to see the pictures of the old engines.
He said, "These developments are a clear vindication of the ALP’s efforts to force the UPP regime to act in a transparent manner following the intervention made during the Budget Debate."
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