Otway-Noel ducks salary issue

Government tourism officials are tight-lipped about the salary being paid to the newly appointed manager of the Grenada Airports Authority.

During a television programme last week a frequent caller to various call-in programs who is a known political activist of the ruling New National Party (NNP) Government, sought to get clarification from the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Alexandria Otway-Noel on the salary paid to Trinidadian Wendy Francette-Williams since taken up her post last year at the airport.

The caller said there are reports that Francette-Williams is receiving a salary of approximately $30,000 a month.

However, the question was skillfully evaded by Minister Otway-Noel. Another caller to the program informed the minister that she had failed to answer the question appropriately and wanted her to do so.

The female government minister then indicated that the salary of the Manager at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) is not something she has within her memory.

“At the top of my head I don’t know exactly what the salary is,’’said Otway-Noel, the Member of Parliament for South St. George.

However, Minister Otway-Noel informed the program that the former manager at the airport, Lester Andall was receiving $27,000 a month.

“I can tell you she (Francette-Williams) doesn’t make anything close to that,’’ she remarked.

Minister Otway-Noel told the caller the almost one-year old NNP Government has nothing to hide and people were trying to engage in propaganda on the salary issue.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Senator Brenda Hood who was also a guest on the program said it makes no sense talking about the salary issue because, “that is not why we are here.’’

When in opposition, the NNP often criticised the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) of paying high salaries to its operatives.

Congress often hit back and pointed at the salaries paid to former Special Prosecutor, Jamaican attorney Hugh Wildman and Richardson Andrew, the former Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in the 2003 to 2008 period.

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