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Answering our President’s challenge

Published: 
Sunday, September 2, 2018

Few people in T&T can be expected to make the kind of call that our President, Paula-Mae Weekes, made in her Toast to the Nation, marking our 56th Independence anniversary.

The reality is that this country has been reduced to relying on a select few who can attract serious attention.

As our society faces daunting challenges we need a stirring call from someone with the respect that our President can command.

President Weekes has come to the office at a critical time in our history and faces the challenge of living up to the demands of this high office.

It is an office that is above the political fray and is free of the partisanship that has wrapped our society in a sea of contention, division, and unending incidents of bad behaviour.

Rising above this, our President has made a call for the salvation of our nation, invoking the words of the national anthem “with boundless faith in our destiny.”

She is quoted in the toast as urging everyone to recognise that there is a requirement for us to exercise “real faith…tangible faith…the kind of faith that requires all of us…boundless in heart, boundless effort, and boundless sacrifice.”

This is the kind of call that requires us to all reflect on what has changed in our society over the past 56 years and to recognise that we are all required to look ahead and forge a new path, paved with the kind of intentions that will improve our lives and opportunities.

We recognise that this is a tall order, but President Weekes has urged us “to recommit ourselves to the nation’s business.” She made the clarion call for “each citizen to take on the responsibility.”

NGC’s profitable picture

The good news of the performance of the National Gas Company may be lost in the bad news surrounding the pending closure of Petrotrin’s refinery operations.

NGC is also state-owned, but it has managed to run an operation that has been able to surmount challenges and can report an after-tax profit of $1 billion for the first half of 2018.

Chairman Gerry Brooks in his report pointed to several achievements and the stable rating from the international credit rating agencies.

The company has also been able to forge agreements that confirm their longer-term prospects in an industry that is easily affected by world market forces.

We are encouraged by the agreement that NGC has made with the Global Petroleum Group that will see the company having the first option to buy Grenada’s gas.

The recent signing of the Dragon Field agreement will also serve to strengthen NGC’s profile.

We are left to ask one critical question about the possible cooperative agreements that could be made with our other South American neighbour, Guyana.

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