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Cooperation and Confidence - A Must for Achieving National Developmental Agenda

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007 – St. Lucia's new Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Sir John Compton, in a national New Year's message, said the task cut out for his government will not be an easy one, but holds hope that the developmental agenda can be achieved with the cooperation, patience and understanding of all St. Lucians.  Sir John cited the preparation for the hosting of the Cricket World Cup scheduled to commence in March 2007 as a major challenge which must be met with the collaborative effort of government and the entire nation.

“For the next six months and beyond, this event will absorb much of our energy and organizational resources both of the Government and our people. For a few short weeks, St Lucia will be on centre stage for the world,” said Sir John. “How we perform then will have lasting effects on our country. This is a challenge which we must convert into a golden opportunity and reap the benefit of the hundreds of millions of dollars which both Government and people have already invested. This event can either be a “great party” followed by the “mother of all hangovers” the morning after, or one which can provide lasting benefits for both our country and our people.” Sir John Added.

The Prime Minister said although a wider and more comprehensive program regarding government's agenda will be announced in the 2007-2008 Budget due before April 2007, Some of the areas to receive immediate attention are Agriculture, Roads, Information Technology, Education and Health.

“As promised, the search for investors in the Information Technology Sector (IT) will commence immediately in an effort to create employment for the many school leavers who roam the streets some seeking employment while others fall victim to crime and drugs. The task force on Education Reform to implement a meaningful Universal Secondary Education Programme, will soon be appointed; so too a committee to implement the Universal Health Care Programme,” Sir John said.

The Government of the United Workers Party is keen on ensuring an impartial public service and according to Sir John, “All who live within the borders of this country are entitled to fair treatment regardless of political affiliation. We demand that those who help in the administration of the country leave their politics aside and deal with the public without fear and without favour.”

Speaking on steps to revitalize the island's agricultural industry, the Prime Minister said government has already started to secure fertilizers and other inputs for farmers. This is being complemented by a local mission to United Kingdom, to secure a bigger market share.

According to Sir John, “St. Lucia's market share has shrunk from 120,000 tons to 35,000 tons although the market has increased to 360,000”.

It is also government's intention to commission an inventory of deplorable public roads and abandoned public buildings, with the intention to have those undergo immediate repairs. This exercise according to the Prime Minister, will create employment for many in the construction industry.

Meantime, Sir John said attention is being given to the re-organization of the Public Services and the various Statutory Boards. The Prime Minister has asked for the continued confidence and support of the public in realizing the island's developmental goals.

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