David Abdullah resigns …”SLAP FOR ROWLEY”

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First it was Dr Terrence Farrell! Now it is David Abdullah. That is a slap in the face for the Keith Rowley Government as the Economic Deveopment Advisory Board (EDAB) is collapsing.

Abullah, leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), tendered his resignation as a member of the Board which has been in limbo for the past three months.

The six-member board, appointed by the Cabinet in November 2015, has now been reduced to two, following the previous resignations of the chairman and two other members.

So what is Finance Minister Colm Imbert saying? Who is the problem affecting the progress of this Board? Who is the person who feels he is bigger than the Board? Rowley take note!

In January, Dr Terrance Farrell resigned as chairman of the board. In his letter dated April 5, Abdulah thanked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet for the opportunity to serve on the Board.

Abdulah said the work of the Board must connect with social policies and matters relating to good governance.

He added, “It is also vitally important that the work of the EDAB is linked to the work of Government Ministries, Statutory Bodies, State enterprises and other agencies, especially since the EDAB by its nature and terms of reference ought to be looking at the big picture’ and thus engaged in the identification of strategic approaches to economic development.

“Regrettably, in the two years of our work this interaction with other bodies was not always a reality as there remains the culture of silos and power bases. This, together with a lack of direct engagement with and/or the slow response to the recommendations/projects and Advisory Notes submitted by the EDAB led to it being less than optimal in terms of results. An EDAB must be a functional entity, not merely a committee that gives the public the perception that a government is being proactive in policy development and long-term planning.”

Abdulah said the Board needed to be institutionalized so that it can properly fulfill its mandate.

He added, “One aspect of this institutionalizing is funding for its professional, technical and administrative staff requirements. Another must be that the work of the EDAB is sustained over time in a way that partisan politics (especially given our electoral cycle) does not interrupt its work since the absence of long-term planning and implementation is one of the major reasons for our failure as a country to harness all of our very significant natural, financial and human resources in a common effort at development.”

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