By Lloyd Noel
There was no doubting that the plans and programs presented by the New National Party, leading up to the general Elections in February 2013 — were fully accepted by the voters in those Elections, when they returned a full NNP team to take charge of the Nation’s affairs for the next five years.
While it is true, that it was not the first time — the great majority had accepted that party’s whole scale list of promises, for running the people’s business nationwide, but after five years in opposition, the victory of that magnitude left many of our people feeling very confident, that we were on a new highway.
It was expected that the new team had to get its acts together — on the home front as well as renewing links with foreign contacts, from the old days when they were in control — as well as forming new alliances to attract Investors to provide employment.
And we did hear of some interesting groups — who were willing to come calling to start-up business on the many Agriculture Estates lying fallow. Those groups were mainly in the far east — and the proposals to amend our Constitution, to give The Controllers a free hand to deal with which-ever country they chose came on stream.
But before this was put to the people in the proposed Referendum — the sale of our Passports to Chinese Nationals, who travelled to Canada on those documents, back-fired on us all as Grenadians.
As for the Referendum itself, that too is on hold for whatever reason — and lately the news came out, that one of the Committee NDC members dealing with the Referendum resigned therefrom.
As for the investors who were rumoured to be coming from the far East, to get involved in Agricultural Estates to provide thousands of jobs — these and those remain mere rumours and on hold.
So now we are into the third year of the total control of the nation’s affairs by the ruling party — and from all appearances or happenings nationwide, everything seems to be on hold and the waiting game continues.
A recent report from a non-party source, stated that unemployment has reached 40% — which is very different from the Government source, that had stated the figure to be 21% a short while ago. And in the next two months or so, a whole lot of youngsters will be finishing secondary schools and joining the queue — as well as those reaching the age and leaving Primary Schools islandwide.
So with nothing visible — as far as the jobs pipelines are concerned to accommodate those increasing numbers — the unemployment figures will be going upwards again pretty soon.
As far as the Referendum itself is concerned, that too is on hold — and except for the recent resignation by the NDC member from the committee, nothing else has been forthcoming on the matter for some time now.
The dates initially stated for holding the Referendum were in February — and those went by in silence; and it was only when the NDC member resigned, that anything was heard from the committee chairman in trying to meet with the NDC officials.
The Controllers’ reliance on a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote in the Referendum — to enable them to choose the non-commonwealth country they want to be associated with for future development — that size or level of support seemed way out of reach, and it must have been the reason for the hold-up in going forward with the Referendum.
So it seems that so many vital issues and matters of national importance are on hold — that the plans and expectations of the Controllers, to bring about the development they campaigned upon to win the clean-sweep victory at the polls over two years ago — that the whole lot has to be revisited and redesigned, based on the existing conditions and the absence of any important achievement — on their list of priorities to-date.
That state of affairs must be very discouraging — and to bring things back on the forward moving agenda will take some time and serious planning.