Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has announced another minor reshuffle of his New National Party (NNP) administration which returned to power with a 15-0 victory following the 2013 general elections.
Two Parliamentary Secretaries – Senators Winston Garraway and Simon Stiell – were promoted to the position of Minister of State and will now become full-fledged members of the Cabinet of Ministers.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday night, PM Mitchell announced that Minister responsible for ICT in the Ministry of Works, Public Utilities and Works, Alvin Da Breo will now become a Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment headed by senior minister, Roland Bhola.
“As head of Government and Chairman of the Cabinet, it is my duty to constantly monitor the performance of Cabinet to ensure its optimal effectiveness”, Dr. Mitchell told the nation.
“It is also my duty to grow the team so that the men and women who serve become more effective leaders with a well-rounded experience in Government,” he said.
Sen. Stiell, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate, who previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture has received a promotion to serve as Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resources.
The Prime Minister outlined the new roles to be played by his other two Senators in the Upper House.
Sen. Garraway who served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information, now holds the position of Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs.
He is replacing Sen. Scott, who according to top level NNP sources, were expected to be removed as a member of government based on alleged complaints made to Prime Minister Mitchell about some of his actions.
Sen. Scott who played a key role for the NNP when in opposition during his radio programmes will now serve as Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister.
PM Mitchell thanked the Ministers of his cash-strapped government for dedication and sacrifice displayed towards the development of Grenada and emphasized that the changes to the Cabinet will not come at a cost to taxpayers.
The new changes in portfolios will take effect from Monday.
Most of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation focused on the economy that he had inherited from the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas that ran the island from 2008-13.
He also touched on some of the projects in the pipeline that will help create some jobs for Grenadians including one involving a group of Chinese investors planned for the much-talked about Mt. Hartman area in the south of the island.
He spoke of Foreign Minister Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen meeting recently with Chinese investor, Charles Liu in Beijing, to market a US$2 billion dollar resort and villa development.
Among the other projects mentioned were:-
*The Sandals Call Centre with 50 persons employed and that has embarked upon an expansion that will result in another 70 persons being employed. This is in addition to the over 500 persons employed at the Resort.
*The construction of the Clarkes Court Bay Marina with 75 persons employed.
*The Carriacou Marina in Harvey Vale that currently employs 15 persons.
*The Fiji Resort in Carriacou will soon begin and will hire about 58 persons in the construction phase.
*On May 18, the commonly referred to Silver Sands Resort Project, commenced. During construction, 200 persons will be hired.
*The Sanctuary, a 13 room Boutique Residential Resort, that will employ a dozen people
*The Wildcats Children’s Recreational Center at Excel Plaza.
*LeBoucher Inc., a meat processing operation in Lance Aux Epines.
*Karnani Investments Construction of a commercial complex in True Blue, with an employment of about 15 persons
*The Solamente Villas project in Lance Aux Epines, a 10 bedroom luxury villa. Approximately 18 people will be employed on this Project.
Dr. Mitchell announced that indications from the state-run Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) “points to more than ten additional projects that are carded to commence within the next few months”.
In addition, he said that “preliminary data from the Physical Planning Unit show that there is an increase in the number of residential homes being constructed so far, this year. This has resulted in a boost for the construction sector, and the employment of hundreds of Grenadians”.