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Griffith: A good challenge

By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, August 3 2014

click on pic to zoom in
 Anil Roberts...
Anil Roberts...

Newly-appointed Minister of Sport Dr Rupert Griffith yesterday avoided questions about the resignation of his predecessor, Anil Roberts, in relation to the controversial Life Sport programme.

“I really don’t wish to comment on that because that has been well-covered in the media. I don’t think there is nothing much I can add to that,” he said in a brief telephone interview.

Roberts tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Thursday, almost one week after a Cabinet-sanctioned audit of the Life Sport found that there was rampant corruption in the programme, which he conceptualised to assist at-risk youths in 2012.

The Life Sport programme has since been terminated and is to be reconfigured through the Ministries of National Security and Social Development and the People.

Copies of the report have since been forwarded to the Director or Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, Head of the Public Service Reynold Cooper and the Integrity Commission for consideration.

The Prime Minister announced Griffith’s appointment as Minister of Sport during the post-Cabinet news conference at the Teaching Hospital, Chancery Lane, San Fernando.

She said the appointment may be “in the interim until such time that a final decision is made with respect to Science and Technology.”

Yesterday, Griffith, who has retained his position as Minister of Science and Technology, said his new portfolio will be “a good challenge.” “I am humbled and ready to take up the mantle,” he said.

“Mr Roberts had some good projects on stream and I have to see which ones I will go forward with and if there are new ones that can come on board.”

Asked if he was not concerned about his ability to juggle two ministries in addition to his responsibilities as Toco/Sangre Grande MP, Griffith said, “Not at all. I have had a lot of experience in ministries.”

Griffith said he plans to go into his new ministry first thing tomorrow morning.

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