Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz yesterday defended the organisation against erroneous reports in the media which sought to put them against the National Carnival Commission (NCC) regarding monies owed to pan men since February.
Addressing the issue during Pan Trinbago’s Annual Interfaith Service at the Trinity Cathedral, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Diaz denied they had anything to hide from the Government in terms of financial accounting.
Insisting that Pan Trinbago could produce audited financial statements for the past 20 years, Diaz dismissed reports that claimed the NCC was owing Pan Trinbago in excess of $4.5 million.
Diaz stressed, “We never said that either in writing or in public.”
He said erroneous reporting had led to the information becoming a distorted presentation of facts, with a certain level of confusion and uncertainty surrounding the issue of when pan-men would receive their stipend.
Contacted on the matter yesterday, Culture Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly confirmed that an undertaking had been given by the NCC that all outstanding monies would be paid to the 9,000 plus pan-men by the end of this month.
Unable to say if this was in fact true, Diaz said Pan Trinbago was at the mercy of the NCC who had effectively reduced his organisation’s role in the hosting of integral events which formed part of the 2017 Carnival celebrations.
Diaz accused the NCC of dispensing a small budgetary allocation to them to ensure certain events had been put on, while at the same time taking away its ability to generate enough revenue to cover its annual operating expenses - resulting in the pan-men not being paid to date.
Diaz lashed out at the NCC as he said, “The NCC took away the gate receipts and also reduced money for the Panorama competition and at the end of the day, they are taking away all your marbles yet they want you to play in the ring?”
“You don’t do that to people,” Diaz said.
You don't do that people.
WOW! That calls for a WOW!