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We have the ‘Shell’, now bring the ‘Conch’

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11.JULY.07

Editor:

It is indeed a traveler’s greatest pleasure to go from point A (departure) to point B (destination) unfettered. However, in doing that, the traveler investigates and obtains documented facts about cost, cost effectiveness, feasibility, payment obligations and requirements, and safety measures.{{more}} Similarly, establishing a transport or transportation system entails the very same issues (expediency, cost, cost effectiveness, viability, payment, and safety), at the least.

The challenge made by Dr. Matthias of Mr. Eustace regarding St. Vincent and the Grenadines Argyle International Airport (as stated) in the 4/7/08 Searchlight Newspaper article (Bring It On!) implies that Dr. Rudy Matthias and the government’s accounting for the project is resolved (ostensibly) and already ‘written in stone’. It further implies that “the public domain” does not know the facts, and that is obvious. In other words, they (Dr. Matthias and government) imply that they already know that it will not be “a billion dollars”. They create the “spectacle” by creating a shroud of secrecy surrounding each aspect of the project, and they give the perception of a hidden agenda.

The article states that Dr. Matthias said, “the loans from NIS, each valued $20 million and the $30 million from First Caribbean International Bank Limited are in keeping with the government’s financial blue print….” So you tell us. Now show us how it is in keeping with the blue print. The public domain needs to know the facts of that financial blue print: whether it is a proposal, draft or an outline, and whether it is the final documented approval.

Aha, the sale of crown lands! According to Dr. Matthias, “land sales take time”. This, seemingly, is a crux for the rush, and the indication of desperation or scrambling (for the loans). According to the article, Dr. Matthias refuted the latter, but he does not show the reasons for refuting the assertion.

Mr. Bowman, thanks for the confidence. You ‘tell’ but do not ‘show’ the public domain how the NIS will not be at risk, the time-frame of the last actuarial study that is on hand, and how the NIS is in “good standing.” The order, Mr. Bowman, is to ‘show and tell’.

A resounding-NO! NO! NO! Dr. Matthias – nah so he go. It is an absurdity. Mr. Eustace is not the one to Bring It On. It is you and the government. Dr. Matthias, remember this word – ACCOUNTABILITY.

The government and all governmental agencies (by extension employees) know that they are accountable to tax payers and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. However, they are not forthcoming with substantiated, detailed and documented facts about all aspects and issues pertaining to the development and construction of the Argyle Airport. And, so far, neither are its apparent spokespersons that include: Dr. Matthias, Lennox Bowman, Jonathan Sampson, T. Wade (Kojo) Williams Sr, and Jerrol Thompson. All that is presented is the ‘shell’ and not the ‘conch’.

The government publishes accomplishments in the newspapers, so why not do the same with the facts-substantiated, detailed, documented, and finalized about the Argyle Airport project? Doing so will, hopefully, eliminate the frustration, confusion, and spectacle. Bring forth the ‘conch’ to the “public domain” so we can be fully knowledgeable and willingly support this huge project.

Everard Delormel

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