Opposition Senator Damian Lyder has accused government of “mamaguying” the population with the purchase of two Cape Class vessels from Austal.
Speaking during UNC’s media conference yesterday, Lyder said the vessels were bought without oversight of the Public Procurement Regulator’s office and there was no transparency in the spending of taxpayers’ money.
Lyder added, “Our borders have become more and more porous as the years go by under this PNM administration. We have seen the entrance of illegal immigrants – we have seen the influx of drugs and narcotics, we have seen the human smuggling and the smuggling of guns and ammunition into this country.”
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, at the launch of the vessels last week, said that the purchase of the vessels was partly funded by a grant from the Australian government.
However Lyder said Rowley needs to clarify the details of the grant.
He asked “Was a grant given to facilitate the purchase of those vessels? If so, how much of the $600 million is given in the form of a grant? Or did the Government take a loan backed by the taxpayers of our country to pay $600 million for the two vessels that we are not even sure will be properly operationalised,” Lyder asked yesterday.