A proposal to bring back a more efficient Petrotrin is chief among the plans Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar laid out at Saturday night's United National Congress (UNC) rally.
The rally was a culmination of weeks of campaigning for tomorrow's Local Government Elections and a day of motorcades by each of the candidates.
The rally, at Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas, started later than advertised with people streaming in long after the 4.30 pm planned start.
A scattered gathering enjoyed the music while waiting for the event to begin.
For Petrotrin, which the PNM Government shut down a year ago and restructured into four separate companies, Persad-Bissessar said the current structure was a "recipe for disaster."
She said, "In today's competitive oil market, an integrated petroleum company stands a far better chance of survival than a company broken up into its constituent parts, operating in silos."
Currently, the Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company Ltd, a company wholly owned by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU), won the State bid to take over the refinery aspect of the defunct Petrotrin. The union boss, Ancel Roget clashed several times with Persad-Bissessar over that matter as he claimed she did not want the union to get into the other side of the energy business. A claim which she dismissed.
Persad-Bissessar said that once her party takes over, they will reunite the four parts of Petrotrin under a single umbrella.
"By recommencing Petrotrin, we will not have to import fuel and will avoid energy processing risk, save foreign exchange, provide meaningful jobs and ensure the company continues to contribute to the Treasury," she said.
The UNC, she said, also planned to re-establish an iron and steel industry in Point Lisas.
Back in 2016, ArcelorMittal shut down its steel plant which was located at Point Lisas.
"We will work with private investors to re-establish an iron and steel industry at Point Lisas and this will once again provide jobs, foreign exchange and contribute to improving the communities in central Trinidad," she said.
Persad-Bissessar also laid out a plan to complete ongoing reforms to improve the oil and gas taxation schemes.
She said the UNC planned to enhance the oil and gas taxation regimen to simplify and modernise the production sharing contracts, exploration and production systems.
"Our government will bring transfer pricing legislation to the Parliament to reduce tax leakages from multinationals shifting profits to other jurisdictions," she said.
Persad-Bissessar also listed plans for 2025 which included the creation of 3,000 new jobs, $1 billion in Foreign Direct Investments and the generation of US $2 billion in foreign exchange.
While she focused on the plans for the future, Persad-Bissessar also took time to bash the current administration. She told the crowd that for the four years since the PNM took office, citizens haven't been able to see their MP.
"When you were flooded out and had no food to eat and no water to drink, when you lost your animals and your crops, when your homes were damaged or destroyed, the PNM did not come because you were not important to them then. They did not need your vote then," she said.
She said for four years, the PNM did not have roads, did not build drains and refused to create jobs.
"The PM and (Finance Minister Colm) Imbert blaming you for the floods. Remember that? Remember that? Today they handing you money and telling you to vote PNM.
"The PNM thinks Trinidadians stupid?" Persad-Bissessar asked.
"You have to be afraid when you park your car or if your dog outside in the road, not only because somebody could thief it, but because they may come in the night and pave over it," she said.
Persad-Bissessar said that the PNM was paying people for their votes.
"The cash they handing out, that is until Monday. After that, you back to being unemployed. Back to poverty. Back to PNM ministers hiding from you," she said.
She told the crowd to go ahead and take the money because, after Monday, the PNM would be taking it back.
"It will be property tax, income tax, VAT, corporation tax, gas tax, tax, tax, tax.
"He make a big deal about emailgate. He lie."
A late start and a smaller than anticipated crowd greeted Persad-Bissessar at the party's
The councillors started arriving with their motorcades after 5 pm, even though the rally was advertised to begin at 4 pm.
Just after 7 pm, the councillors filed on stage, and at 7.15 pm, Persad-Bissessar arrived with her own motorcade.
Though the crowd grew substantially by the time Persad-Bissessar took the stage, attendees expressed concern that the small crowd sent the wrong message.
"We still confident that we going to take it Monday," an older man told Guardian Media at the event.
Guardian Media asked several people if the crowd size was a source of concern.
"Not at all. People don't want to come here and take the crowd, the fight up for parking and that kind of thing. But don't let that fool you. The same people who not here, going out to vote on Monday," one lady said.
Several of the attendants also complained that the People's National Movement had commandeered the major television stations, leaving the UNC with limited options to broadcast their own local government rally
Several of the candidates were seen working the crowd, talking to supporters, thanking them for coming out, wearing UNC marked hard hats. They all seemed confident about a victory on Monday.
"The hard hats you see them wearing, that's because they working hard," one young man said.