National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, has assured that the purchases of two Cape Class vessels was above board.
Hinds made the comment on i95.5FM on Sunday, after Opposition Senator Damian Lyder questioned the funding for the two vessels, which were bought for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
During a UNC media conference yesterday, Lyder said the purchase was made without the oversight of the Public Procurement Regulator’s office and said there was no transparency in the spending of taxpayers’ money.
However, Hinds denied that and said “The entire arrangement is well before the national community, we announced even when we went to tour them a couple of days ago what the outcome was, the cost was and that we had savings, we came within budget and all is good and well.”
Hinds said the Opposition should go to the courts if they believe the purchase of the vessels was not above board.
“That apart, I am not prepared to waste one more moment on the noisy and painfully noisy, Damian Lyder, who doesn’t impress me as anything else but ignorant in trying to understand the affairs of National Security. He should spend some time reading and listening and learning before he bumps his gum in the way that he is doing.”
On Lyder’s claim that government has lost control of the borders, Hinds said they are aware that the borders are porous.
He added, “They have been so for a long time, through the term of the UNC from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2010 to when the public dismissed them in 2015, we know that and we have constantly been working at improving our borders in various ways. We purchased three OPVs, they scuttled it, they should be the last persons to talk about open borders.”