Is T&T a Developing Country?

Spread the love

By Neil Gosine

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO can be categorised as a developing country for the past 60 years which is the process of shifting from an agrarian-based economy to an oil and gas-based one. But now it seems we are back to a no-income economy. This is mind-boggling.

This shift initially came with a change in social structure and policy and opportunities for increased wealth through the investment of external capital. However, the Government has squandered the wealth, closing down the refinery and now looking for avenues to increase income.

Often in structures like ours, the politicians are usually the ones who hold positions of power and influence and distribute the wealth to their friends and families. It’s sad to say but our leaders under this government are all too willing to take advantage of their position for personal gain. The grassroots and citizens dependent on the state for a living are often manipulated politically, by those who use their positions to hold power and enrich themselves.

Trinidad and Tobago’s have a good many numbers of laws that prohibit financial fraud, and corruption including bribery. Often these laws are developed through the copying of legislation from the more developed countries. However, having such laws doesn’t really benefit us as there seems to be no proper will and independence under our legal framework to enforce them.

Our police service continues to be underfunded and because officers are not paid well they allegedly get themselves involved in illegal activities. Our police force has its hands full with the level of murders reaching the highest ever seen with more than 600 murders in one year.

How do we expect service from them, they are not even able to control traffic, solve crimes against citizens, and be able to handle the many blatant robberies and thefts. Major corruption matters are out of the reach of the skill set of our police officers, and of course they will lack the will to make corruption a priority.

We have some of the best prosecutors in the legal fraternity however when a corruption brief is brought up against the existing member of the Government although they may have the skills to successfully prosecute, the prosecutor’s office or commissions of inquiry are usually stifled, underfunded and overworked, and have a high probability of political interference within our system. Just look at what’s occurring with the Paria’s fiasco.

The courts under our system are underfunded and overworked, and they can only deal with so many cases brought before them.

It’s imperative now that we call a spade a spade and make the necessary changes to curb corruption within our country as we have been a developing country for too long.

Our citizens have faced enough in the last seven years. We are all suffering and looking for proper leadership to steady the ship and make Trinidad and Tobago prosperous again.

This unfortunately will only come through legislative and political will.

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *