With the first anniversary celebrations in office now over, the task for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is to take a deep look into the immediate priorities for the next 12 months.
The one-year old government had given a broad outline of the Transformational agenda in the key areas of focus like the Building of a Teaching Hospital most likely in the Hope Vale/Calivigny area which once housed a military camp of the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA).
THE NEW TODAY would like to suggest that the government look at using some of the proceeds from the sale of passports in the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme to give a stimulus to the rural economy.
This is not a suggestion that money should just be thrown at the feet or into the hands of the so-called poor and vulnerable in these communities in the out parishes.
It is a known fact that when “The Small Man” has money in his pocket there is a great deal of spending at the village level including the turnover of goods in the small shops and supermarkets.
The Members of Parliament on the Government Side should have used the past 12 months to come up with the small scale projects for the development of their constituencies and to provide job opportunities for several persons.
Another worthy idea that should be explored is the creation of farm labour support for those who are known to be actively involved in the sector in order to help boost productivity.
The new government should look beyond the traditional and seasonal debushing programme of every 4 months in which a few hundreds of persons are formed into Gangs to do work on the road.
The government should also look at rolling out in Year Two a new programme to move The Youths forward as part of the much-talked about Transformational Agenda.
There is some grumbling on the ground that nothing seriously has been done in the first 12 months for the youths of the nation.
The young people are making mention of the millions paid out by the government to pay pensions to persons of a certain age group while nothing has been done to give them a helping hand.
It is time for the Minister of Youth and Sports Ron Redhead to start rolling out his own programme and those of the Congress government and not just being engaged in cosmetic changes with the old initiatives of the former regime.
The Congress leaders should not lose sight of the fact that the NNP regime was voted out of office mainly by an uprising of the young people in the country who wanted more than a career as an Imani.
Dr. Keith Mitchell and his Group failed at transforming the Imani into becoming a game changer in the life of thousands of our young people.
The fact is that many young people who spent 15 to 20 years in the Imani programme were condemned to live a life in which upward mobility was not possible on the meagre salary of $800.00 to $1200.00 a month over the years.
Many of the persons in the programme became mothers and fathers and had to live within the confines of their parents’ home without having the ability to attract a commercial loan from a bank to build their own homes.
The NDC should learn from the mistakes of NNP and avoid walking along the same path because in a few years’ time if the party fails the young people it is possible that they will turn on them at the polls.
The NNP had a clearly defined strategy to target the poor and vulnerable in the country with their goodies in order to maintain a stranglehold on them to get the Vote on Election Day.
The strategy backfired as the children in these so-called homes voted for Congress with the hope of getting a better day while several of the parents remained loyal to the Green House.
As the NDC goes into the next 12 months, it can take comfort from the fact that the Team is united under Dickon Mitchell as the undisputed leader of the pack.
It is not the Congress of the 2008-13 period when a few misguided persons with ambition for leadership betrayed the trust of the electorate and were severely dealt with in the 2013 and 2018 general elections.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is the trump card for the current government but the buzz word for those in charge of running the affairs from the Botanical Gardens should be delivery and delivery of more and more service to the people.
The NNP is not sleeping but is already quietly plotting its way to position itself to be combative in time for the next general election.
A major setback for the NNP will come if the newlook Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) can find the evidence that can stand up in a court of law to deal with all of the alleged wrongdoing that took place under the watch of the former rulers.