People’s National Movement (PNM) stalwart, Ferdie Ferreira, said that as far as he was concerned, there was nothing wrong on the procurement of the Super Fast Galicia by the former PP Government.
As a former Member of the Port Authority Board, Ferreira appeared on Monday afternoon before the Joint Select Committee on Land and Physical Infrastructure. The JSC began its investigations into the problems on the sea bridge.
Responding to a question from JSC member, Wade Mark, Ferriera said as far as he was concerned, the Port Authority sent officials to Gibraltar to inspect the Galicia. The team returned and recommended to the Board of the Port Authority that the Galicia be hired for the Trinidad to Tobago run.
Ferriera said the Board’s recommendations were then sent to the line Minister who signed off on the vessel. “That was the way it should be done. I don’t see where these comments came from.”
He said his Board, chaired by Christine Sahadeo, recommended in 2016 that the Galicia receive an 18-month extension to its contract. That was sent to then line Minister, Fitzgerald Hinds, who signed off on the extension.
“The next thing we hear that the Cabinet did not approve the extension of the Galicia,” Ferreira. When told by JSC member, Franklyn Khan, that Cabinet agreed for the 18-month extension, Ferriera said neither he, not any of the other Board members knew about this.
It was clear as day that Ferriera and Sahadeo did not see eye to eye at the hearing. He said Sahadeo resigned from the Port on February 22 this year. He said neither he nor any other members of the Board knew that Sahadeo had resigned.
He said the following month, on a Sunday, a high ranking Government official, told him that the Cabinet was holding an emergency meeting on the Monday to select a new Port Board and that all members of the previous Board would be replaced.
He said he called Board Member, Ken Wright and told him where he got the information. By 10.30 pm the Sunday, the rest of the Board decided to resign. The next day, the entire Board was replaced.