Dr Keith Rowley has been reported as saying that Trinidad could “easily become Haiti” if measures are not taken to stop the economic decline.
Having uttered these alarming and ominous words at a political meeting on Monday night, I believe it is now necessary to enlighten the good doctor.
Clearly his statement is purely a political jab at the government; but the facts paints a picture that is inconsistent with Dr Rowley’s statement.
Rowley needs to be reminded that in 2010 when the PNM was soundly rejected by the people at the polls, the country’s inflation rate stood at 11%; today it is below 3%. The unemployment rate in 2010 was 5.6%; today it is under 3%. In 2010 foreign direct investment stood at US$500m for that period; today it is at US$1.5b in 2015. The production sharing contracts in the oil and gas industries over the past five years that the People’s Partnership has been in office is quantified at US$2b.
Of particular note is the fact that the country, under the astute leadership of the Prime Minister and her team, successfully navigated one of the greatest challenges to our economic well-being when the price of crude oil fell below US$50.00 per barrel. At a time when Rowley and his followers were creating havoc by suggesting to the nation that the government would cut social, welfare and GATE programmes. Yet nothing of the kind happened. The Prime Minister with iron resolve told the nation that these and other related services will not be cut.
The solid and robust managing of the country’s monetary and fiscal policies and programmes, at a time when several other oil and gas dependent states were reeling in panic, is pure testimony of the performance of the Prime Minister and her government.
In my view Dr Rowley’s statement is wildly inaccurate and represents a drowning man clutching at political straws. His drivel was intended only to fuel political discord and mayhem in the hearts and minds of the population; but the good news is that the nation knows better and most importantly, we continue to enjoy a good quality of life in this paradise called Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr Rowley a word of advice sir, it has been said before and clearly it needs to be said again, every time you spew such drivel, it only serves to keep you and the PNM shackled as the Opposition Party.