Lot Selection Ceremony: Point Fortin for former Petrotrin workers who qualify for land as a termination benefit
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis Minister of Housing and Urban Development
South West Regional Indoor Sport Arena
Coronation Park, Egypt Village, Point Fortin.
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
- Honourable Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries
- Honourable Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Honourable Kennedy Richards, Member of Parliament for Point Fortin
- Honourable Stephen Mc Clashie, Member of Parliament for La Brea
- Claire Davidson-Williams, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Sandra Francis, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
- Nirmala Ramlogan, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Wayne Inniss, Chairman, Land Settlement Agency (LSA)
- Hazar Hosein, CEO, Land Settlement Agency (LSA)
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
Good afternoon everyone,
Thank you, chairperson, for that kind introduction. I want to thank all the members of staff of the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development who worked diligently to ensure that we got where we are today: at this Lot Selection Ceremony, which is one of the final stages in the distribution of residential lots to former employees of Petrotrin who qualify for this particular termination benefit resulting from the closure of the refinery and the restructuring of the exploration and production activities.
I am also grateful that we are meeting here in Point Fortin, one of the most beautiful boroughs in the country, well-known for its Borough Day, which we celebrated just three days ago. As we emerge from that celebration, we enter another: today’s lot selection ceremony.
Point Fortin has always provided Trinidad and Tobago with great bounty, not just in culture but also in industry. Not far from here is one of the world’s largest Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plants. People come from all across the world to work here, not just in LNG, but in oil and gas, in pitch, and in many, many other sectors including tourism, as we have some of the best beaches, right here in the Guapo area.
Well today is your day. Today is the day you, the 38 former Petrotrin employees, who qualified for this termination benefit, get to select a lot, right here, in beautiful Point Fortin.
That is what your Government promised you, and this is what we are delivering. Some may say it did not come fast enough, but when a Government is giving out a resource as important as land, via Deeds of Lease, one has to do the due diligence and be careful in the process. After checks conducted by the LSA, not everyone qualified. Some applied but had land already. Some were not actually terminated by Petrotrin, but applied anyway. So be careful what or who you listen to.
Land is a great asset, and as a responsible steward of the nation’s resources, your Government is giving this opportunity, not just to you, but also to your families. So while you may not be able to build right away, for future generations, you ought to start planning, so that you can preserve and protect this asset, and hopefully, pass it down to future generations.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has made the distribution of this land to you a top priority. We made sure that those who did not qualify did not delay the process so much that they would cause distress to those who do qualify. So we don’t take today for granted. The significance of this day is undeniable. We can all unite around the idea that this is the beginning of a new era, for you and for your families.
It was not a short road to get here. It took a lot of hard work, and there is more hard work to do, but have no fear, the LSA will walk you through the rest of the process, and even help you with plans.
So our work is not done. As you may know, more land and property are coming to more Petrotrin workers. This is one of the firsts.
Cabinet also approved lands for Petrotrin workers at
- La Romain II, La Romain;
- Allamby Street, San Fernando;
- Ste Madeleine, San Fernando;
- Golconda, San Fernando;
- Glenroy II, Princes Town and
- Balmain, Couva.
I cannot overstate the real and measurable impact this will have on people’s lives. That is, of course, if you did not know already. Because of what Cabient approved and the way in which Cabinet approved it, not long after you build, you will have access to clean running water, electricity, telephone, cable, internet, and all the modern amenities you choose to put in your homes.
Coupled with all else that we are doing, your government is investing in your future and in the future of your children and grandchildren.
This is the Vision we set out to achieve by 2030. Our National
Development Strategy, Vision 2030, is a vision that puts people first, that nurtures our greatest asset. It’s a vision that will see all citizens enjoying a superior standard of living, assuring the opportunities to access quality education and training, healthcare, affordable housing, decent work and social protection.
It’s a vision that seeks a better quality of life for all citizens. It’s a vision that will transform Trinidad and Tobago into a thriving society in which all citizens can fulfill their God-given potential.
It’s a vision of a society that recognises, respects and values the talents and contributions of all citizens. And that is what we are doing here today, recognising your contribution as former employees of Petrotrin.
Former Petrotrin workers received one of the most comprehensive termination packages in the history of this country, and I know our continued investment in you will redound to your benefit, to the benefit of your children, and ultimately to the benefit of all of Trinidad and Tobago.
Starting right here, today, with your lot of land, you can help develop this country into what you want it to be.
All in all, this is a great day, and I have every confidence that the beneficiaries of today’s ceremony will live up to the trust put in them. The very idea that you will now have land in your name should excite you. So let’s give thanks and move onto the selection.
I thank you.