by Linda Straker
- PM addressed members of GCIC luncheon on Tuesday, 26 July
- Administration will be finding answers and solutions to existing problems and challenges
- New ministry created to ride roughshod over other ministries to ensure delivery
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has told members of the business community that his administration is not prepared to accept ‘no’ as an answer, and expects to face resistance as it proceeds with its transformative agenda.
“As a new government and one that has championed transformation, my challenge is not to get bogged down with the minutiae of grandeur details that does not advance or transform our country; and we can only do so by having a clear sense of what our goals are, what our policies are and to not accept ‘no’ as an answer.” The prime minister addressed members of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) during a luncheon on Tuesday, 26 July 2022. He was the guest speaker of the event which brought together dozens of business owners and or management of small, medium, or large businesses on the island.
“So, I appreciate some of the things that we have championed will be met with resistance, that is the nature of change that there will be friction, but I can assure you that we will consult, we are happy to debate, we are happy to hear the other side of the coin, but what we are not prepared to accept is ‘no’ for an answer,” the Prime Minister said.
Mitchell who became Prime Minister following the 23 June General Election said that his administration will be finding answers and solutions to existing problems and challenges in the system.
“We have to be solution-oriented. We have to find answers to the things that we want to accomplish and to that extent, I just want to highlight some of the issues we intend to follow through on.” He reminded the business community that his administration will be complying with paying the retroactive aspect of pension payment by 30 November and has already returned docked salaries to public officers who stayed away from the job in 2018.
He admitted that he and several members of his cabinet are lacking in public sector experience but will be using their knowledge from the private sector to achieve the policies as championed on the political platforms and in the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“Our intention is to ensure that if we are going to deal with a major policy issue that affects businesses, that affect our workers, that we consult, that we give you the opportunity to share our views, to share your ideas to make suggestions, so that we can agree and act,” he told the business community which has representation in the Upper House of Parliament.
Prime Minister Mitchell said he has inherited a situation where the problems have existed forever and ever, but he did not share examples of specific problems. “We know what the problems are but there has been a lack of will to take decisive action to make sure that we can in fact implement and get results.” He provided justification for establishing a new ministry, the minister for which, is businessman Andy Williams.
“And to that extent, we have created the Ministry of Mobilisation, Implementation, and Transformation…the purpose of that ministry is to ride roughshod over other ministries to ensure that we deliver,” he said while pointing out that there are several projects ranging from education to digitisation to agriculture to infrastructure, that has for one reason or the other, been in the pipeline forever, and the pipeline is a long one.
He said that Grenada is at risk of losing funding for many of these, simply because of failure to act or taking too long to act. Williams’ job, notwithstanding that he is a new ministry and the ministry has to be started from scratch, is to make sure that those things can be delivered.
The prime minister then encouraged the members of the business community to visit the NDC website and read its manifesto which he described as ambitious, but deliberately designed that way because “we recognise that we must first aspire if we wish to achieve.”
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