Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Paula-Anne Moore
Ease of doing business
– the current NIS crisis which was the topic of today’s presser by PM Mottley et al,
– the unfathomable lack of empathy, accountability and responsiveness to the public exhibited by CXC during the pandemic
– CXC’s puzzling governance via consensus by CARICOM governments, where the preservation of CARICOM institutions such as CXC seem to be more the goal than meeting the needs of the public
– the Auditor General’s annual consistently disturbing and apparently unresolved revelations,
– the current debate on the THE ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER (AMENDMENT) BILL 2022, and the current BL&P rate hearing before the FTC;
The important business principles of Governance, Accountability, Best practice, Competence, Communication, Stakeholder engagement, Ease of doing business, are too often issues sub-optimally addressed which are at the core of challenges involving the above.
To what extent is the NIS crisis revealed today not just due to external factors (decline in contributions, ageing population etc) but also a result of successive governments using NIS funds allegedly as a ‘piggy bank’? Investments in risky ventures which go against best practice for traditional investments of pension funds?
Why wasn’t this crisis communicated years before with the urgency it has been today? I do commend the current government for communicating with this level of gravitas with the public, but ….
Who is held accountable for the current crisis, which obviously must have its genesis some time ago? What were the best practice principles of governance applied by successive governments in the management of our
It is clear that we can’t rely on natural population growth to generate the funds needed to replenish the NIS. We need to encourage and attract immigrants to our island: that is a quick cheap alternative as it doesn’t require the education and other usual investment in human capital.
Unfortunately certain [persons] in some of our past governments trafficked in racial/ethnic animus, pandered to the worst sentiments and encouraged that response in the populace, which is not the ideal environment to encourage immigrants.
However, if the ease of doing business, if business facilitation isn’t optimised, if we are not globally competitive, how can we realistically encourage people to settle here long term? If there is a lack of confidence in our public education system and regional exam body, if it isn’t perceived as internationally competitive, how many will relocate here long-term with their families?
The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation was indefatigable, approx 10 years ago, in pursuing a national environment, inclusive of free wifi access nation-wide, to position Barbados as a Global Entrepreneurship Hub. What happened to that endeavour? (Clue: how had business facilitation – banking, court system, CAIPO eg – improved in these intervening years?)
The welcome stamp was a brilliant and timely initiative, and can be an important platform from which a strategic immigration policy can be launched. This could be an important element of a long-term strategic solution.
How do we resolve this while maintaining the safety net in place which has been supported and depended on for decades while ensuring this state of affairs isn’t replicated? All hands on deck are needed to repair and right this sinking ship.
Paula-Anne Moore, Education Advocate, Spokesperson and Coordinator, Group of Concerned Parents of Barbados, Caribbean Coalition for Exam Redress.