As the general election inches closer, there seems to be a mad rush by the NNP administration and their parliamentary representatives to deliver all manner of goods, and services to hoodwink the masses.
This last-minute desperation is a sign that the government is very uncomfortable with its chances of winning the next general election. The mad rush to deliver merchandise is being touted as an electioneering strategy to catch votes to win the election at all cost.
None of the 15 constituency across the state is being left unattended at this present moment. At the level of each constituency, the minister is at the face of delivering housing material, school uniforms and small contracts to known party activists and supporters of the regime.
It is rather unfortunate, that in a small society like Grenada there is no proper institution set up to carry out these functions of government. There is absolutely no reason why political activists and NNP offices across the state should be used as the machinery to deliver state resource. This is wrong and should not be condoned by the populace.
The Imani and other government-controlled programs can be far more effective if they are placed under indigenous institutions like NEWLO, T.A Marryshow College or a National Training Institute, free of political interference.
The controversial IMANI program has been constantly called into question for the manner in which it is being used by politicians to achieve their political and selfish goals.
The establishment of proper institutions is a key and important element of national development, which is able to meet and serve the interest of the state adequately.
The three years IMF structural adjustment program is another sore issue. The program have been a horror story for many Grenadians, to say the least. Over fifty small businesses have collapsed island wide, as the government stockpiled a litany of taxes on the backs of Grenadians. Those measures were implemented in order to satisfy the IMF targeted bench marks.
The NNP’s massive and flamboyant campaign promise of rescue and delivery was quickly turned into a nightmare of horror and pain by the harsh austerity measures imposed by the government. As a result of the shock, the rural economy plunged into a state of rapid collapse, and is now in total shambles.
Agriculture has diminished to less than 5% of GDP, followed by the closure of critical banking institutions in the Big Parish, as the parish grind to a hopeless state. Youth unemployment now stands at 50% and growing, as the issue of jobs and job creation remains elevated and of a major concern. Jobs and health care, and pension are some of the pertinent issues Grenadians are concerned about.
For the last seventeen years, this present NNP administration has failed to create favourable conditions for long-term or sustainable employment, especially for the youthful population.
The Imani program is self-serving and is called into question as to whether there is value for money, so too is the de-bushing program. What is the cost benefit analysis of these programs one may ask?
Where are the income generation projects, first to get people to work, and to help mitigate the high levels of taxes imposed on the Grenadian people? Grenadians need to wake up and smell the coffee, by coming to terms with the reality that the de-bushing, and Imani programs in their current construct will not and cannot solve Grenada’s economic crisis.
What is needed are income generating projects that can help grow the local economy, while at the same time providing sustainable employment for the working population. It is unfortunate that year after year the government for political expediency continues to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result- it will never happen.
It is evident that the current NNP administration over the years has not produced a credible plan to take Grenada into the future, which is reason enough to be voted out from office in the coming election.
Over the last seventeen years, many have struggled to put country before self by seeking their own self interest rather than focusing on the overall development of the country for the benefit of all.
The authorities have failed to encourage nationalism and pride among our people. The new norm seems to be, not what I can do for my country anymore, but what my party can do for me.
The home-grown structural adjustment programme has ended, followed by the IMF final review and report. There is failure on the government part to address the austerity measures that were put in place during the program.
The government is ignoring the fact that people have sacrificed and suffered from the burdensome taxes imposed during the program and need relief. No amount of one-off payment or one-off delivery is enough to bring relief to the pain and suffering the people are now facing.
As election looms, it will take a forward thinking political party with vision and a new policy agenda; like the current National Democratic Congress, which consist of a mix of experience and youthful exuberance to relieve the pain and the hardship of the Grenadian people, by winning the election and “Fix D Ting”.