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Shut up and drive, says Bizzy

A prominent businessman is calling on the Government to stop talking and start delivering.

Founder and chairman of Williams Industries Inc. Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams said for too long there had been a lot of talk about expanding the renewable energy sector and reducing the island’s more than $700 million food import bill through sustainable agriculture, but he complained today that there was still very little movement.

The outspoken businessman suggested that in addition to science and technology “discipline and work ethic is sadly lacking” in Barbados and the region.

He was participating in a science and technology panel discussion at the 3W’s Oval this morning on the topic Science and Technology Education: A Future Driver for Social and Economic Development in the Region.

Pointing to the island’s high food import bill and questioning why more Barbadians did not want to get into farming, Williams said recently some Guyanese approached him and wanted to lease some land to produce onions and other crops and he agreed to lease the land at “a very low rate” since it was looking “promising”.

Founder and chairman of Williams Industries Inc. Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams

Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams

“However, the project fell through because the farmers wanted to bring modern technology here and mechanize the farm and they were refused any sort of incentives. They were told they would have to pay full duty on the equipment and there were no incentives available. Now if we in Barbados are spending so much money on food and everybody is concerned about our foreign exchange position why would we not try to support the farming community to the extent that we could?”

The other area, he said, that needed “a sense of urgency” was the area of renewable energy.

The renewable energy advocate lamented that the island was spending “a tremendous amount of foreign exchange” to import oil for energy when it should be focusing on using energy from the sun and wind.

“We need to wake up and understand that these things are urgent and they need to be done and not talk about them all day long. We are very good talkers and not very good doers. It is time we wake up in Barbados and stop talking and get to doing,” said Williams, adding that there were job opportunities to be created.

Opting not to give details, Williams said he had applied to put a wind turbine on an area of land close to his BRC office but his application was “turned down”. He further disclosed that a German professor who recently visited Barbados had also given a proposal to the Government showing that the island could produce “all of its energy” from renewable sources.

Acknowledging that there was a “big problem” with energy storage, Williams pledged to offer the university “some funding” to carry out research into what storage capacities were available, those that were being developed, and which ones would be best for Barbados at the most reasonable price.

He pledged funding to help the university with research to determine “why Barbadians no longer wish to farm?”

Williams also suggested that instead of spending “so much money on imported oil to drive people around” the Government should be seeking to make it easier for people to own electric vehicles.

“The Government started to allow the [electric] cars in at a very concessionary rate of duty. All of a sudden now they put back 20 per cent on the duty. So it pushes the prices of the car beyond $100,000 for one of those little cars, which was about $65,000 when I bought mine,” he said.

“We need to get really serious about doing things and not talking about them,” added Williams.   

7 Responses to Shut up and drive, says Bizzy

  1. Kris Lorde
    Kris Lorde November 25, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Wanna And These Top Officials/ Ministers Need To Stop Being So RH Greedy First.

  2. Suzette Edghill
    Suzette Edghill November 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Pity we don’t have people of his ilk running this country.

  3. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart November 25, 2014 at 1:55 am

    This is a no brainer…why is it so difficult to do simple things in Barbados…?…

  4. Gabriel Abed
    Gabriel Abed November 25, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Someone should give this man a ministry in our government and watch how structured that ministry becomes.

  5. Olutoye Walrond November 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Where there’s no vision….

  6. deryck payne November 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I agree with you it will be nice to see you in government i am sick of all the talk and blame game, i believe in doing something even if it don’t get the results we might be looking for its better than doing nothing.

  7. Raymond Maughan November 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    When Solar Heating first came to Barbados there were all sorts of incentives given to the people to go solar.
    One would have expected an even greater push for solar electricity to make every home and all government properties fully supplied by solar. Every new home should be required by law to be fully solar and to have a system to collect water.
    Just imagine the Gymnasium going solar. Not only would the government save, but anyone wishing to rent would be spared that large electric bill to cover the air-condition costs.
    When Trinidad devalued that went back to the land, it is strange however to see us at this time of need running away from the land. Well not so strange when you consider the inhuman Tax, costs of labour, water, machinery and then add to that spoilage, theft and low reward when it reaches the supermarkets. We need to go back to the days when everyone in every home planted something and revise laws so that small properties could keep certain specified animals according to the size and location of the place. Tax concessions and incentives are needed.
    The only things benefiting from the masterly Inactivity in the agricultural sector are butterflies, bids and the like.


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