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JIS News

Prime Minister, Hon. Portia Simpson Miller wrapped up her 3-day official visit to the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago this afternoon (Wednesday, April 26, 2006) with a civic reception held in her honour by the Acting Mayor of Port of Spain, Councillor Rishi Lakhan. The Prime Minister was presented with the key to the city of Port of Spain, its highest honour.
Speaking to the Councillors at the reception, the Prime Minister told them that they had an important role to play, not only in the development of the city but also the country. She said that local government touches every aspect of the life of people and as such she was advocating that local government be reformed and strengthened. She said that there should be a clearly defined role for local versus central government and that the relationship between both should not be adversarial but that they should work together to improve the quality of life of citizens.
She however noted that for local government to be successful Councillors need resources to carry out their work. She said that local authorities can be creative and do more cities and communities.
Earlier in the day Prime Minister Simpson Miller visited the National Gas Company where she was brought up to date on the work of the organisation.
The Prime Minister said that she was impressed with the work that was taking place and that the Company was important not just to Trinidad and Tobago, but also to the economy of Jamaica. She reiterated the commitment that she made in her bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manning, on Tuesday (April 25), to invest in the smelter plant being built in Trinidad and Tobago.
She said that the partnership between the two countries must stand as a good example of what can be achieved in the region if we pool resources and help each other.
She noted that the National Gas Company has achieved world-class status and is a source of pride to the region. She congratulated the leadership of the National Gas Company on the company’s focus on the non-energy sector, their recognition of the importance of involvement in communities in their work as well as their efforts to protect the environment.
The Prime Minister was accorded full honours that are reserved for visiting Heads, including a 21-gun salute, at the Piarco International Airport on her arrival on Monday afternoon (April 24, 2006).