~Emmanuel: MP Theodore Heyliger committed treason.~
PHILIPSBURG: --- Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel did not mingle with words when he informed the Minister of TEATT Stuart Johnson that government has to ensure they keep the Dutch Government out from Government owned companies on St. Maarten. Emmanuel said that he wants the Minister of TEATT to make sure he tells parliament the truth regarding PJIAE. He said that it was MP Theodore Heyliger that offered the Dutch government positions on government-owned companies since April 2018 something he considered as treason since the MP was out there trying to make deals in order to stay out of “jail.”
Emmanuel even went as far as saying that he could “hear” the discussions Heyliger had when he was meeting with members of the Dutch Government and was singing ‘don’t lock me up”.
Emmanuel gave the management board credit since they were not appointed to build an airport but instead, they were appointed to manage PJIAE. The MP said that while gives management a pass he wanted to know if they conducted a bidding process before awarding the contract to Ballas Nedam. Emmanuel made clear that local companies go through the wringer when they submit bids for jobs locally thus, he wants to know if management of PJIAE followed due process before awarding the contract to Ballas Nedam and he asked that parliament be provided with the cost of the contract.
The statements made by Emmanuel regarding the song “don’t lock me up” prompted MP Franklin Meyers to ask if the MP was referring to him since that was the campaign song he used. Meyers also informed parliament and the Minister that he personally never had discussions with the Dutch or none of the financial agencies to obtain funding for any of the government-owned companies. The MP said that both his brothers were locked up as well as his role models and his view the “jail” was not made for animals.
The other Members of Parliament posed several questions to the Minister of TEATT regarding the financial status of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE).
MP Jurendy Doran asked the Minister and the Management Board of PJIAE to give parliament clarity on the amount of office space PJIAE is renting. He asked the Minister to inform parliament where are these rented office spaces are located. He also asked the Minister to inform Parliament if PJIAE rented office space for a period of five years and if that is the case then he wants to know why did PJIAE rent office space for that period of time. He also asked the Minister if management considered using containers for temporary office space and if PJIAE has other buildings that are not on the grounds of the airport and if those spaces could have been used as temporary office space.
MP Doran also asked about the old fire department building, he asked the Minister to inform parliament on the status of that building. Doran also asked about the current pavilion and if it true that it is hot and what management is doing to provide some comfort to passengers. Doran also asked the Minister if its true that there is mold in the pavilion and if there is what is done to eliminate the mold to prevent health hazards. Doran also asked the Minister to inform parliament why is government not issuing the letter of guarantee to PJIAE.
MP Iron Ardwell asked the Minister to further explain more on the financial status of PJIAE since the CFO said that operation costs including salaries are secured for the month of November 2018. He called on the Minister to provide the budget and cash flow for 2019. He also asked for the draft financial report. MP Iron asked what was the financial status prior to hurricane Irma and Maria? He asked the Minister to provide parliament with the true financial record of money that were on accounts locally and overseas. He asked the Minister to tell parliament if the case against NAGICO Insurance is in appeal and if that is the case then he wants to know if PJIAE can use the insurance money paid to them thus far.
He said based on the presentation presented to parliament its show loss of business and business interruption is a tune of $25M. He asked for more details on this projection. As for the Port of St. Maarten, he asked if Government or management is considering leasing the facility.
MP Silveria Jacobs asked if the Minister approved the conditions set forth by World Bank and the Dutch Government. She also asked if all positions on the management team are filled.
MP Rolando Brison asked the Minister to provide information on the level of cooperation between the stakeholder (government) and the Supervisory Board and Management of Board are in sync. Brison said he wants to know what is the Prime Minister’s role with PJIAE and he also wants to know if the Minister approved the intervention of the Prime Minister since PJIAE falls under his Ministry. He said he wants to know if the Prime Minister is involved in any form of micromanagement.
Brison said he wants to know if PJIAE has a clear wish list, and what is it they need from government, he said he wants to know if they need the letter of intent and tax break.
MP Brison warned the Minister about the “trias politica” and he also reminded him of the role Corporate Governance Council. Brison said the Minister needs to take heed on the separation of power when it comes to the shareholder, management and the holding company.
He also called on the Minister to give parliament clear-cut information with regards to the insurance money and if they did would they be in a better position financially. He called on the Minister to further explain the parliament of St. Maarten what exactly placed PJIAE in the current financial position. Brison said he wants to know if PJIAE signed any type of agreement in 2012 that gave the bondholders the right to hold on to the funds. He asked the Minister if PJIAE is seeking funds from the World Bank. He asked if PJIAE is negotiating with the World Bank then he wants to know what are the conditions set forth by the World Bank and the Dutch Government. Brison said he wants to know if there are other dangers lurking and if PJIAE is planning on shares. He called on the Minister to come forward with the truth. He asked the Minister if Royal Schipol Group made proposals to government regarding management if PJIAE gets a loan from the Trust Fund. Brison also asked the Minister to explain the situation regarding the suspension of the Holding Board of PJIAE. He also asked what was the reaction of the bondholders when they heard government was contemplating changing the board members.
MP Peterson asked the Minister to provide clarity on the position Andre Wright is holding at PJIAE. He wants to know if Wright is a consultant and if he was paid in 2012 when he secured financing for PJIAE and if he will paid a percentage for any loans that PJIAE acquires now.