Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has called on citizens, especially those working in various government agencies, to have a more “positive” attitude.
Speaking at the opening of Nutrimix’s next-generation hatchery in Couva yesterday, Dr Rowley listened intently to the challenges the company faced to complete the installation.
He said, “We need the ‘can do’ spirit in Trinidad and Tobago. We have that spirit when it comes to old talk — everyone is a commentator, everyone has an interest, everyone has a right, but in terms of doing things; in fact, doing things and passing it on from the word to the effect that this is where the “power to do” is absent. »
Director of the Nutrimix group of companies, Ronnie Mohammed, said the hatchery took 11 years to complete and many problems stemmed from its interactions with various state agencies, compounded by Covid-19 restrictions. .
Dr. Rowley described the decision-making process in some state agencies as a slow march or a treacle.
He said the snail’s pace usually comes from a lack of vision in public service.
“Many decision-makers do not associate themselves with the result of their daily work. Things are disconnected. There is a huge suite of decision-making in this country that needs to be modernized, starting with how one becomes a permanent secretary.
“People today are at the permanent secretary level in Trinidad and Tobago and a lot of them haven’t gone through the expert journey that we had before at the permanent secretary level. A lot of them don’t are not managers and do not take managerial responsibility for the departments they lead, which has such a big impact on the daily lives of people, whether you are an investor or a consumer.We need significant changes in the public service of the 21st century,” he added.
Some people may think his suggestion is a threat to the Constitution.
He said: “The Constitution which was drafted in 1962 in many areas is totally inappropriate for Trinidad and Tobago in the 21st century, 2022. I am of the opinion that permanent secretaries should not only come from those who float to the top of the public service. but should also come from managers in the private sector, who are hired into the civil service to bring management skills to the civil service. If we don’t make these far-reaching changes, we will always have complaints about how we underperformed and how unnecessary the struggles were.
The Prime Minister praised Nutrimix’s efforts to have the most modern hatchery in the region.
He said it would allow us to accelerate our production of chicken meat as a major source of protein for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. »
Regarding the rest of the Caribbean and the potential for exporting to other nearby islands, Dr Rowley said companies would face archaic, outdated laws and a public service that is not ready to be the exponent of “can do”.
He said the government was ready to make the necessary changes to make things more efficient.