It is all part of the decentralisation of government services due to the congestion in the capital city, as promised in the People’s Partnership manifesto, Science, Technology and Tertiary Education Minister, Fazal Karim, said yesterday.
Karim made the announcement at the formal opening of new headquarters of the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP), located at Mulchan Sieuchan Road, Chaguanas.
Delivering the feature address at the ceremony, Karim said that the move to house some of the key ministries of government outside of the capital was history in the making.
He said: “It is the first time in the history of this country that a head office of this nature has moved south of the Caroni River.”
He told guests that it was just the start of what is expected to take place within the borough over the “next two to three years”.
Karim also announced that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, had received Cabinet approval for construction of its headquarters on five acres of land located north of the nearby Divali Nagar site along the Uriah Butler Highway. He said he will be seeking $150 million for the project.
“It will also house head offices of YTEPP, National Training Agency and the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago,” Karim said.
The head office of the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), has been given an allocation of 30 acres of land in Chaguanas and will soon move out of Melville Street, Port-of-Spain, where the rental is $1 million a year, he said.
Karim said: “On Tuesday morning we start commissioning of the lands. They already have plans to start the construction of class rooms, which will be commissioned in the first case as prefab buildings for the September academic year.”
On May 18, Professor Clement Sankat is expected to commission the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Open Campus at Woodford Lodge, which is expected to be the newest training facility in Central Trinidad.
Karim continued: “Chaguanas has the land space to expand. I am aware that three ministries have been earmarked to look at moving their head offices from Port-of-Spain. It will increase employment opportunities for contractors as well as employees. Chaguanas is going to further expand. The road networks are going to improve.”
Also speaking yesterday was Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagassar, who congratulated Karim for his efforts.