I have to admit that it gives me great pleasure in going after economic and financial issues that are presented to the public from time to time by Ministers of Finance, Governors of Central Banks and Regional and International Institutions such as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The pleasure I derive is not linked to the notion of me wanting to be critical or having some kind of political bias. Everything I write is based on my training as an economist and is consistent with statistical and theoretical evidence! I do not “drink bush tea for anyone’s fever,” according to the Trinidadian calypsonian, Sugar Aloes.
I do believe that the public has a right to know what is happening in our economies and therefore when the picture painted by others is clearly distorted, as an economics lecturer at one of our leading educational institutions in the region, this writer believes he has an obligation to his students and the public to present an alternative perspective based on the facts!
I am on a different journey in this piece – a journey that may very well suit the whims and fancies of all the critics out there who for whatever reasons love to attack me; not my writing, because they feel glorified in their actions.
I want, in this week’s contribution, to give praise where it is due and deserving to four entities: Grenada Co-operative Bank, Communal Credit Union, NIS and the Security Division of the Maurice Bishop International Airport.
Let me start with the Security Division at our international airport for obvious reasons. Sometime ago, I wrote a piece on my experience with airport security. I was highly critical of what I considered then to be the unprofessional manner in which some of the security personnel handled an incident involving your humble servant.
Since the said piece was published, there has been a remarkable improvement in the level of professionalism on display at the security check point at the airport. Have you noticed anything? Those security officers are now executing the same duties as before that are designed to ensure all passengers using our airport are safe but they are doing so with excellence so much so that I am extremely relaxed and comfortable when going through the usual security screening at the airport.
Thank you, Mr. Alwyn Clarke and all the other security officers at our international airport for such drastic improvements in your attitude towards your job and your level of professionalism. Keep up the great work!
Now to the Grenada Co-operative Bank, a financial institution with which I am quite familiar. Having dealt with that institution for such a long time, it continues to amaze me how efficient many of the officers remain when it comes to the execution of their duties. The interesting aspect to me is the fact that several of these officers are relatively young men and women but they nonetheless demonstrate excellence in service delivery.
It seems obvious to this writer that the training these officers receive is top-class and their dedication to the cause is unmatched. Even though it might not be politically correct to single out individuals, the fearlessness in me whenever I am writing dictates that I identify officers such as Mr. Roger Duncan and Mrs. Nichole Phillip-Walcott as shining examples of the kind of professionalism of which I speak.
In relation to the Communal Credit Union, I have been a member of that financial body for only a few months. I have to admit that my dealings with the officers of the credit union have been nothing short of glorious! The level of efficiency with which these officers operate is quite illuminating.
To them I say: If you continue to demonstrate excellence in every aspect of your job, that would redound to not only your personal benefits within the institution but also to the credit union’s membership. The goodwill you gather will guarantee the survival of the credit union even in the toughest of financial and economic times facing the country. Way to go!
Last but certainly not least is the NIS. I have been engaged with employees of the NIS over the past few months on a number of matters including the issue of my contributions to ensure that I am able to secure my pension upon reaching the age of sixty, age benefits for one of my relatives, and a study that I have done on the impact of hurricane Ivan on Grenadians’ earnings/incomes.
The moral of the story to be told about my experiences with the staff of the NIS can be summed up in one word: BRILLANCE! If we in Grenada are really serious about efficiency and quality of service in the workplace, then, we can look no further than the NIS. It is all evident at that important institution. For making life as comfortable as can be for me, I just wish to place on record my sincerest gratitude to the likes of Mr. Dorset Cromwell, Mrs. Abigail Christopher and Ms. Marsha Lewis of the NIS. You are all great examples to follow for those interested in excellence on the job!
I am sure that there are other entities in Grenada that are deserving of similar praise for the level of efficiency with which they carry out their functions and their overall contribution to the development of our country. When I come into direct contact with those entities and I am pleased with the quality of the services they offer, then, rest assured that they will be publicly acknowledged as well.
In the meantime, let all of us who have benefited from excellence in service delivery from the various entities operating in Grenada join in celebrating the good that they have done and convey to them all the very best wishes going forward! Grenada will be a much better country to live and work when good deeds are duly recognised and publicly appreciated!
As a serious people, we must never fall short of giving praise where it is due!
(Dr. Brian Francis, a former Permanent Secretary in the local Ministry of Finance, is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados of the University of the West Indies)