A fortnight ago, I listened to Frank Myers respond to callers on News Spin regarding the role of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC). I couldn’t help but cringe at how ill-informed and ignorant some of those callers were.
The NIC is a well-structured organization, with a set of guidelines applicable to whichever party is in power. Callers need to research properly before making a mockery of themselves, as the directors of the NIC make decisions within their authority, sanctioned by company law, for the benefit of the organization.
How many St. Lucians are aware that the NIC, under a former SLP administration, made two disastrous investment decisions that caused the organization to lose enormous sums of money? The first one was an investment in the New York Stock Exchange. The second was an investment in the Blue Coral building on Bridge Street in Castries. An investment that turned out to be a financial nightmare for the contributors and shareholders of the NIC. All of the critics of Cabot need to verify this information before passing any form of judgment.
The Cabot loan was done in compliance with the rules and guidelines of the NIC. From day one, no one can deny, that Cabot benefited St. Lucia, despite the horrible criticism levelled against it from some venomous, partisan quarters. Cabot serviced its debt, created employment, assisted the economy, supports community causes, and paid off its loan in full at a profit to the NIC and the people of St. Lucia.
Level-headed St. Lucians need to question rabble-rousers like the Castries Central MP, who ridiculously contended that a group of St. Lucians can easily get together and build a golf course when he categorically knows that his assertion is nothing but a pie in the sky. Truthfully, tell me, how many St. Lucians can get together, design a golf course, market the project, and meet their commitments? Investors come in diverse categories and until such time that we possess the expertise to undertake such ventures, we must cooperate with those individuals and organizations who have the wherewithal.
How many years have the SLP and others maligned Sandals Resorts? Now that they have recognized the importance of that stellar organization to St. Lucia, have they eaten humble pie? No. They have not. They have shamelessly joined the ranks of the cheerleaders. Sandals opened our borders to the outside world. Since then, we have witnessed the explosion of a robust and vibrant Air B & B industry which has surpassed the number of hotel rooms on the island. Sandals continues to spend millions marketing St. Lucia. Over the years, their marketing venture has indirectly created considerable demand in the regional and international markets for a thriving Air B & B sector in St. Lucia.