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HomeNewsRegional NewsPM tells CoP probe removal of OAS contract clause costing T&T $852M

PM tells CoP probe removal of OAS contract clause costing T&T $852M

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by Rahdica Sookraj (Trinidad Guardian) As it emerged yesterday that the Government is now owing $852 million to bankrupt Brazilian firm OAS Constructora, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has called on Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob to investigate who signed an addendum to the OAS contract allowing the firm to walk away with the near $1 billion.

Speaking at a People’s National Movement meeting in Arima last night, Dr Rowley launched a scathing attack against Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, saying three days before the United National Congress lost the 2015 election, an addendum was added to OAS’s contract with the National Infrastructure Development Corporation (Nidco) which robbed the country of money when the Brazilian firm became bankrupt.

“The contract documents had clauses in it that protected the country against bankruptcy. There was one clause, 152E, which said if the contractor is insolvent or goes bankrupt, the bonds the contractor put up go to the State. But they (UNC) did something to allow the contractor to go away with the money,” Rowley charged.

He said when the PNM won the elections on September 7, 2015 and got into office, it went to the court in a bid to get the addendum declared null and void.

“We went to court and argued that this behaviour was not a reasonable action and what happened was an attempt to defraud the State. It was agreed that we should get the bonds and that is how the highway is being built,” Dr Rowley revealed.

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