The New Today
Editorials

Time for reflection!!!

With the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell two months short of celebrating one year in office, the time has come for a review and rethinking of the manner in which the administration has been performing in office.

THE NEW TODAY is suggesting that Congress should look at the formation of an Economic and Social Council to make recommendations on policies and programmes that can be implemented to help with nation building over a 5 or 10 year period.

There is nothing wrong with having a 30-year development plan but the election cycle in our democracies is every 5 years and a sitting administration should know that after 2 to 3 years in office the public will judge them on their performance.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley in Barbados has recently set up a similar council to guide her administration.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just projected economic growth of just over 3 percent for Grenada in fiscal year 2023 and in excess of 4% in the following year.

The former New National Party (NNP) government of Dr Keith Mitchell can claim that the foundation for the economic growth being experienced was laid by them in the aftermath of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the argument that NDC will be able to put forward and with some degree of credit is that the construction industry has settled down under their watch and is growing as the private sector investors are confident in the leadership of the new Prime Minister.

In addition, the tourism sector is bouncing back, the demand for some agricultural products like cocoa and nutmegs is great and several millions have been put at the disposal of persons from the pension pay-out.

The government needs to build on all the initiatives with the creation of the Economic and Social Council that can come up with detailed ideas to be put on the table of the Cabinet of Ministers for discussion.

The talent can be found from among the sons and daughters of Grenada like Dr Brian Francis, Ambrose Phillip, Dr Ezra Mathias, Laurel Bain, and Michael Julien among several others.

There is no need for outside Consultants to be brought in to find solutions to the ills in Grenada.

The problems confronting economies like Grenada and other islands in the Eastern Caribbean who are affected by global developments are well known and a home grown solution is the answer.

The Prime Minister has an opportunity to tap into some of the best minds in the country to help put Congress on the right trajectory in tackling the wide range of economic and social issues that are plaguing us as a developing country.

The council can also be empowered by the Cabinet to help identify the bottlenecks that are responsible for the low implementation rate of projects and to offer suggestions on the way forward.

The reality is that NDC inherited a very inefficient public service that was the hallmark of the previous regime as the so-called strongman leader Keith Mitchell was deliberate in his actions as he set out to put structures in place that depended on his guidance.

The Congress team is composed of several persons who will take time to understand the working and trappings of government and cannot rely on an inept public service with a battery of underperformers serving as Permanent Secretaries to get the job done over the next two to 3 years.

The Council members should be empowered to help some of the ministers in making the weak Permanent Secretaries account for their stewardship of the ministries under their care.

The recent Ministerial changes between the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dickon Mitchell and his Infrastructure and Physical Development Minister Dennis Cornwall could well signal the start of a rethinking of the manner in which the nine-month old administration has been performing in office.

The Prime Minister took the correct decision to take charge of the Portfolio from Cornwall so as to lead the transformational process and to get the ministry to really perform in the interest of the Grenadian people.

The power and weight of the Office of the Prime Minister are badly needed to deal with bottlenecks in the Moliniere land slippage and the inability of the former Keith Mitchell government to take advantage of the millions offered by former British Prime Minister David Cameron to get the Western main road project up and running.

THE NEW TODAY is fully in support of the intervention of the Prime Minister and would like to see it extended to those statutory bodies linked to the ministry especially Gravel & Concrete.

The information coming out of this important state-owned enterprise is troubling and PM Dickon Mitchell is the best person at this point in time to ask the current Board of Directors for a report on their stewardship since taking up their positions since the change of government.

The diehard supporters of Congress at Gravel & Concrete have been expressing concern with many of the decisions being made by the Sylvester Quarless-led Board.

It is nine months and the state body is still suffering from a lack of trucks to engage in the pouring of concrete which is a lucrative business in the country.

It also appears from credible information that a clique is making important decisions on the way forward for the corporation without the involvement of other Board members.

This board has to be checked as it is playing into the hands of NNP and causing some of the strong and committed NDC supporters in the corporation to lose confidence in the government and its transformational agenda.

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