Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Phillip Paulwell is calling for former Chairman of the Petrojam Board, Dr. Perceval Bahado-Singh to also step down from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, PCJ.
PCJ is the parent- company of Petrojam Limited. Dr. Bahado-Singh sits as a member of the PCJ.
Mr. Paulwell made the call for Dr.Bahado-Singh’s resignation this morning in a statement to the media.
The call by the Opposition Spokesman follows the resignation of Dr. Bahado-Singh yesterday as Chairman of the Petrojam Board.
Dr. Bahado-Singh and two other Jamaican directors of the board, attorney Harold Malcolm and Port Maria’s Mayor, Richard Creary, resigned yesterday.
The Opposition Spokesman also expressed as ‘damning’, Mr. Creary’s indication in his resignation letter that the board hadn’t met in 9-months.
The Board is comprised of three Jamaicans. The others are Venezuelans.
Mr. Paulwell says the resignation of the Jamaican directors of Petrojam is only a step in the right direction.
He says their resignation however doesn’t go far enough in addressing what he describes as the ‘deepening crisis’ at the nation’s sole oil refinery.
Following the resignation of the three Jamaicans yesterday, it was also revealed that the board hadn’t met in nine months.
Information obtained by Nationwide News indicates the board hasn’t met since September 22, 2017.
Mr Paulwell says the revelation by Mr. Creary that the board had not met in nine months is a damning indictment on the oversight of the major state agency and a gross dereliction of duty on the part of the Minister.
He says under a PNP-led government, they ensured at least one of the Venezuelan directors was domiciled in Jamaica, citing the critical nature of Petrojam’s operations to the nation and the economy.
Mr. Paulwell contends that the agency was left with no oversight.
The Opposition spokesman also finds troubling, information that Dr. Bahado-Singh was reimbursed for travel and other expenses which was over a million dollars in one month.
The Manager of Petrojam, Floyd Grindley told the Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, last week that the money was eventually returned.
Mr. Paullwell is insisting that all the other matters regarding the hiring of staff, the breach of procedure in the travel arrangements of the Chairman must be thoroughly investigated.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley says he has received and accepted the resignations of the board members.
In a statement to the media, Dr. Wheatley says he thanked the members for their service and wished them well in their future endeavours.
Dr. Wheatley says it’s expected that new board members will be appointed in short order.