The Antigua Barbuda Port Authority (ABPA) has used a press statement to clarify what it says were misleading reports published in an online news portal.
On May 8th the online news published a story “Watts ‘put out by Port Authority’s alleged arrangement to rent tugs and crews from Dominica in possible enrichment scheme”.
The Port said in that report, a member of Parliament made slanderous allegations regarding the operations of the Port Authority’s tugs, alleging that the Port Authority did not have a tug of its own and was instead renting tugs from Dominica.
The Port said the report also claimed that certain officials at the Port were enriching themselves through corrupt practices.
“We would like to clarify that the Antigua Port Authority has been leasing tugs from Midgard / Caribbean Towing LTD, a sister company, for the past 6 years to carry out its maritime obligations in providing towage services. We currently have three tugs, which are being utilized as needed. One of these tugs, “Tug Istria,” is on lease with a financial commitment of $20,000 USD a month and an additional remuneration to the captain attached to the tug of $9,500 XCD. The other two tugs, “Tug Hugo” and “Tug La Dani,” are charged based on usage, either $200 USD per move or $1500 USD per hour, respectively,” the Port Authority wrote in a statement to the media
The Port explained that in 2009, the previous administration sold one of our tugs, and the other was not maintained properly, rendering it unseaworthy and needing to be placed on dry dock. As a result, we were forced to explore leasing options for tugboats to fulfill our obligations.
“After a thorough assessment of the overall cost of our tug operations, we found that the current leasing arrangement with Midgard / Caribbean Towing LTD was the best economic decision. The rates received from the Tug company are suitable and way below the current market price for tug leasing within the region. Furthermore, leasing the tugboat provides significant cost savings compared to purchasing a brand new tugboat. The cost of a new tugboat can be exorbitant, and it requires a large upfront capital investment. Maintenance costs, repairs, and other associated expenses add to the already high costs of ownership,” the Port Authority wrote.
The port said all their tugs are registered with the Antigua Department of Maritime Services (ADOMS) under the Flag of Antigua & Barbuda. We ensure that all crew members are properly trained and qualified for their positions.
‘We would like to assure the public that the Antigua Barbuda Port Authority is committed to upholding the highest standards of transparency and accountability. We take any allegations of corrupt practices seriously and would investigate any such claims thoroughly. We encourage members of the public to seek accurate information and not to be swayed by baseless allegations made for political gain”.
Wow……how is it that they didn’t address all the other things and they need to stop lieing the tugs according to records from Adam’s switched thier registrations… they were indeed registered in domonica at one point .. so Dominican tugs ..the last tug Midguard just registered under antigua last year after it was bought ….how dem nar say that from since the port a lease tugs from Midgard holdings that company has purchased two brand new 2nd hand tugs…..and y is it that the crew for the Tugs is sent by the same Midgard…..none antiguans dey….. ofcourse all of this is for political gain the honorable member has all his ducks in a row I suggest the port does the same… but when u lie u just lie…..oh and by the way who said they had to buy a new tug…? And the so called port tug is in a heap of rubbish n not dry docked for saving….. ask dem bout that ….