Fri 8th Oct 2010
Sale of NCB shows that SVG's economy is in a shambles under Gonsalves
On 1st October 2010, the highly incompetent Ralph Gonsalves regime issued a press release, that the National Commercial Bank (NCB) has been privatised, sold to a foreign entity. For the ten years in office, the Gonsalves regime has been driven by 1930s mindset, shamefully living off the sweat and financial goodwill of hardworking and innovative countries.
The Gonsalves regime has never had anything to offer. Begging and borrowing was always the stable diet of the ULP. Gonsalves's measure of his ability is that he sees SVG above the level of Bangladesh and Haiti, two of the world's poorest countries.
Giving the ULP a third term will increase the economic and financial disaster that SVG is in. This is shown by the Director of Audit reports of the ULP regime, 2001 to 2007, which reveal that the ULP regime has substantial problems in dealing with figures and compliance on financial requirements.
The ULP regime took an overdraft of $176 million in 2007 from the NCB. This overdraft broke the back of the NCB. The ULP leadership was oblivious to the massive negative impact an overdraft of $176 million would have on the NCB. Selling the NCB was unnecessary and will impact negatively on the SVG economy.
The ULP has shattered the SVG economy and the hopes of many young people. Over the past 10 years unemployment and crime has escalated, and our children have been plunged into a life of joblessness and poverty on leaving school. The ULP regime has failed young people.
Eustace and Gonsalves are highly irresponsible people. Section 75(2) of the SVG 1979 Constitution outlines the duties of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). For 8 out of the 10 years of the ULP's term in office, the PAC has not met to review the state of the SVG economy. Measures could have been put in place to protect the NCB.
By not operating the PAC, Eustace and Gonsalves turned their back on the NCB and the SVG economy. In any developed country, Eustace and Gonsalves would have to resign. They are not worth their salt in the peoples' parliament.
SVG must change direction to a Green economy with a focus on factories manufacturing new products for export. A Green government will bring high-quality education and a science university. This will provide jobs and give Vincentians the qualifications to obtain highly-paid jobs in SVG and abroad. A highly educated and skilled population is needed to truly make SVG prosperous.
A deep sea fishing industry, a renewable energy industry, a fresh water export industry, niche tourism, reclaiming Mustique, a science university and tea and agro-producing industries will not only fund a Green economy, but also create thousands of new jobs.
These new industries, thousands of new jobs and a strong private business sector is the best revenue-creating way forward for the people and our economy. Privatising NCB, VINLEC and the Port Authority highlights the ULP regime's economic incompetence and is not a long-term solution to SVG's problems.