Trinidad expenditure on Uganda embassy not justifiable – Gopee-Scoon

Paula Gopee-Scoon

(Trinidad Express) It cost Trinidad and Tobago $7 million a year to operate a High Commission in Uganda. But costs were not justified by the results since key objectives were not achieved.

So said acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Paula Gopee-Scoon as she explained why the High Commission was closed.

Responding to a question from UNC Senator Tabarqa Obika, Gopee-Scoon said Government decided that “the money could be better spent establishing a mission in a country where tangible gains could be more readily realised”.

She added that the countries to which the High Commission in Uganda was accredited could be covered by the High Commission in Nigeria with respect to countries in Africa and a mission in the Middle East with respective to countries in that region.

Asked by Obika which objectives had not been achieved, Gopee-Scoon said there were diplomacy objectives and energy diplomacy objectives. She said the country had anticipated some export of its energy services, in the context of the building of a gas pipeline between Uganda and Kenya as well as the use of TT nationals in the building of capacity in the Uganda energy industry. “That did not materialise,” she said. The anticipated agricultural projects, involving NAMDEVCO were also not realised.

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