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Francis removed as Minister of Works

Francis removed as Minister of Works

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says the removal of Senator Julian Francis as Minister of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government is in an effort to increase efficiency in that ministry.

As he announced the change, the Prime Minister stated {{more}}that there would be key advantages derived from the mini shuffle, which sees him taking over the ministry, and Francis being relegated to Minister of State in the same ministry, with special responsibility for BRAGSA, land transport, the electrical inspectorate and urban development.

Gonsalves said that from time to time, he would assign Francis to other duties.

“One of the major benefits of this arrangement is that some of the works; the significant amount of capital works which is in the pipeline, I expect that we would move with greater expedition and greater effectiveness through this arrangement,” Gonsalves said during a press conference yesterday.

“The matters which I will address in works largely are the big projects, those financed by institutions and governments such as… the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the government of the Republic of China Taiwan, the government of Ecuador….”

Gonsalves said that the additional portfolio to his list of responsibilities would not affect his ability to work effectively, since he would be delegating duties to relevant individuals and departments.

According to Gonsalves, speculations that Francis, who is also the general secretary of the Unity Labour Party, is being removed so that he could focus on getting the party prepared for the next general elections, are false.

Francis had stated in the weeks leading up to Gonsalves’ announcement, that before the end of August, something would take place which would cause members of the Opposition New Democratic Party to “go crazy”.

Gonsalves addressed that issue, saying that the adjustment can be interpreted in any way that people may choose to, but maintained that the change was made for expedition of major pro-jects that are soon to begin.

When asked if any other changes could be expected in the Cabinet in the near future, Gonsalves said that there were none on the horizon, since he is satisfied with the work that is being done by his Cabinet members.(JJ)

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