PM: Moonilal made OWTU refinery bid unsure

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that the suspicions raised in Parliament by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal against the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) financiers to take over the refinery may topple the entire deal.

He said that Moonilal raising questions about who would benefit from the sale of the refinery and questions about whether the Prime Minister was involved in some underhanded bid to sell off the refinery for private profit would hurt the OWTU's chance of securing a loan.

"He has prejudiced the OWTU's ability to deal with bankers and right now, I am not sure what the outcome is going to be," he said.

He likened Moonilal's statements to the negative reports that jeopardised and eventually broke the Sandals deal that the PNM was working out for Tobago.

"Of course he has the gall to tell the Government that we must leave the problem of the refinery until after the election," he said.

"What is the rationale behind leaving it? I know he has a big pocket, but I don't think he could thief that," Rowley said.

He said as Prime Minister, he did not hold any grudges against the OWTU.

"The best bid won and the OWTU was the best bid and we are quite prepared to do what we have to do to get it done and get the refinery restarted," he said.

"The same way they chase away the Sandals project... is the same way they are trying to undermine the OWTU," he said.

 - by Renuka Singh

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