The New Today

Unfinished business!!!

The Dickon Mitchell-led Congress government was on a high following its successful execution of the events surrounding Grenada’s 50th anniversary of Independence.

Most Grenadians including elements of the main opposition New National Party (NNP) of Keith Mitchell were forced to admit that several of the events that were showcased to the Grenadian people and visitors on island were indeed breath-taking.

However, the government had to soon face up to a reality check as the international media especially the major News Networks in the United States zoomed in on the tragedy that was the alleged deaths of two Americans by three escaped prisoners.

Now with the Golden Jubilee and “the carnival over” it is time for us as a nation to get back to the business of work and start to face up to the everyday problems of life in the country.

The government needs to move quickly on the distribution of the low-income Chinese constructed houses as further delays might be sending the wrong message and signal to the donor country.

The authorities should be mindful of the fact that the persons who are intended to move into these homes have in most part secured loans from financial institutions and repayment of the mortgage is a must.

The Government Line Ministry must get involved and clear up all the bottlenecks to ensure the people move into their new homes.

There are reports that the delay could be related to some issue with the Legal Firm retained to handle some aspects of the work.

THE NEW TODAY holds the view that if the law firm is not moving fast enough then another set of lawyers should be considered in order to move at a much faster speed to deliver the homes to the identified occupants and not make the Chinese feel that Grenada is adopting “a don’t care attitude” with their gifts.

Another issue of concern that needs to be addressed is related to the Customs Department within the Ministry of Finance headed by the senior government Minister Dennis Cornwall.

The government seems to be happy with the millions entering the Consolidated Fund from the sale of passports under the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme and not addressing the leaks in other areas of the operations within the ministry.

The morale within the Customs Department is extremely low and both the Minister and the Permanent Secretary who is in charge of the Customs Department are showing little or no signs of addressing the issue and also the endemic corruption within Customs.

THE NEW TODAY is aware of certain information that was passed on to the highest levels within the current NDC government about an alleged corrupt act taking place within a certain Department in the Ministry of Finance and again nothing is being done about it.

The current rulers did not create most of the existing problems facing the country but the fact remains that they were elected by the people to make a difference from what existed under the former New National Party (NNP) government of Keith Mitchell.

Congress has to be more proactive in addressing National Security concerns in an inherited system that has broken down.

The government should take note that if Grenada reaches the stage where citizens no longer feel safe in their homes the issue can be a major factor in the next general election.

The former Grenadian leader was honest enough to admit publicly that the system that he ran for almost 30 years became very problematic in his words was broken ,but stopped short in saying that he did not know how to fix it.

In 1990, the incoming Congress government of the late Sir Nicholas Brathwaite was faced with a similar problem and took a visionary approach in inviting the architects of the system to provide technical and professional support to get Grenada back up and running once again.

The British made available a number of their top public servants who helped to bring back institutions like the Customs Department and the Department of Management Services to build capacity in order to help uplift the public service.

The so-called “New” Congress should have followed along a similar trajectory and turn to the British to help the island meander its way to Good Governance once again as there is a shortage of persons within the Public Service who can handle the task ahead.

It is all well and good to adopt “a Grenada First” Policy’ but if the cupboard is empty then “we are only spinning Top in Mud.”

Perhaps, the biggest headache for the government right now lies in the area of providing better healthcare for the people.

The new Health Minister, Member of Parliament for the Constituency of St George South-east Phillip Telesford has a herculean task on his hand of arresting the myriad of problems at the General Hospital which is compounded by the bad attitude of some persons holding senior positions in our premier health facility.

This Minister has impressed with his hands-on approach while in charge of the Housing portfolio and might be one of the best equipped persons in the Congress administration given his private sector background to try and tackle the health woes of the nation.

Minister Telesford can become the trump for NDC in the next general election if he manages to make a dent on Health and especially bring to fruition that multi-million dollar Teaching Hospital with modern facilities as a game changer for the health concerns of not only locals but Grenadians living in the Diaspora.

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