Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves will seek the help of CARICOM at their meeting in Haiti next month to get Trinidad and Tobago to make good on the US$100 million it has pledged to help respond to the fallout for the failed British American Insurance Company (BAICO).
Port of Spain, under the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration paid US$34 million of the monies pledged, but the Keith Rowley government is yet to make any payments since coming to office in September 2015.
Gonsalves told the media at a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2017, that his government has been fighting to get the remaining US$64 million from Port of Spain.
“… a commitment was made to us for US$100 million in relation to British American Insurance Company, it was reported to CARICOM, we agreed to it [and] everything. We didn’t even consider it to be sufficient, but went along…
“And every time we raise it, they say that they are not in a position to pay,” he said of the Rowley administration.
“Well now, if you are not in a situation to pay, tell me when. If you can give us 20 [million US dollars] this year so that I can have the judicial manager distribute it throughout the region to people to get a little bit more and next year again so that people can know, they can look forward to something and I have to be fighting on behalf of our policyholders in this respect.
“Keith is my good friend, Trinidad is a country of great importance to us as we are to them. We work closely, we have a good relationship, but even among friends, when we have difficulties, we have to talk about them and resolve them,” Gonsalves said.
He said he has asked CARICOM secretary general Irwin LaRocque to place the matter on the agenda of their intercessional meeting in Haiti next month.