Asphalt offer out of place
I am responding to an item nestled on page 18 of the Express of October 16 under the caption "St Vincent gets offer of free asphalt for airport".
This item has created some disquiet in my mind as, on the surface, there seems to be some deviation from the accepted protocol for such an offe, originating, as it does, from the chairman of the board of a State company and directed to the prime minister of a foreign country.
The offer is further complicated when the foreign prime minister is requested to seek approval from PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The offer, which was made by telephone, was raised in the parliament of the foreign state and the response was a formal letter sent to our PM requesting the offer either as a grant or at concessionary rates.
Such a proposal raises several questions such as, is the line minister aware of, and approves of such an offer? Is it not the responsibility of the line minister to raise the proposal at a cabinet meeting where a decision would be made and the PM communicates the offer with her foreign peer? Can Lake Asphalt afford such a generous offer at this time?
Such errant behaviour brings into question the level of performance of some of our leaders. In an editorial of the Express on the previous day questions were raised about the "juvenile performance'' of the said chairman and his CEO at a press conference.
These tactless mistakes undermine the credibility of our nation , not only among our Caricom neighbours, but in the wider international community.