Feeling the pain

Inniss steps around cement controversy

Embattled businessman Mark Maloney is not the only one who is totally frustrated with how certain Government departments in Barbados operate.

In fact, you can say that Maloney has found himself an ally in Minister of Industry and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, who though not prepared to step into the legal wrangling between Maloney and Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins, said enough to reporters last night to make it clear that he shared not only Maloney’s pain, but that of other business people who he said were being frustrated by “inefficient public officers and Government departments”.

Inniss’ comments came immediately on the heels of a warning issued by the Assistant Financial Controller of Preconco Limited Kirk Smith that hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investment could be lost if the Town & Country Planning Department did not give the go-ahead for a number of projects submitted by the Maloney’s group of companies.

It also coincided with Tuesday’s launch of court proceedings in a suit brought by Cummins against Maloney for failing to obey a stop order issued in relation to the construction of a storage facility for Rock Hard Cement off Spring Garden Highway.

However, the matter was adjourned until June 24 without any arguments being heard yesterday, due to failure by a court marshal to serve Maloney with the necessary legal documents.

Though staying clear of mentioning Maloney’s still pending case, Inniss went on utter a position which was at variance with that issued by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just over a week ago, when he took a hard line against Barbadians who appear bent on flouting the orders of the Chief Town Planner.

Warning then that his Government was prepared to go as far as to enact laws to ensure they comply, the Prime Minister, who has responsibility for the Chief Town Planner’s office, was adamant that the country’s development must be “ordered” and that the law had to be followed.

“This is a country that subscribes to the rule of law, not to the rule of fancy and personal preference and so on.

“I think the message has to go out, not with any intention of making anybody a target, but the message has to go out that the Chief Town Planner is not somebody not clothed in his right mind and the people in the Town Planning Department are not people preoccupied with making people’s lives miserable.

“The development of Barbados has to be ordered development and we can only have ordered development if people comply with instructions of the Chief Town Planner,” Stuart had insisted.

However, speaking to reporters last night, Inniss said while he did not want to be “accused of stepping on other people’s territory”, he was not prepared to bury his head in the sand and ignore the frustration faced by business officials who were trying to bring investment into the island and create jobs to help grow the economy.

“I am not getting involved in what Mark Maloney says and what the Town Planner says and what not,” the minister said.

However, he argued that “this economy can only go forward if the private sector is energized. And the role of the state is not to frustrate but to legitimately facilitate business development in Barbados.

“So while obviously there is a matter before the law courts, which I will not pronounce on, but there is a broader issue which we must not run away from.

“I am not going to bury my head in the sand. Some Government departments are not very efficient. They do everything to frustrate people from doing business in this country,” he added.

A visibly upset Inniss said whether or not he was a politician, his concern was that he had to live in Barbados and therefore he wanted to see investments being made and businesses thriving.

“I came into politics without friends and I will leave without friends if I have to. But what pains me is when I see opportunities for Barbadians to be fully engaged [and] to be fully employed, frustrated by public officers and Government departments who should know better.

“Wherever these matters end up I will stand on a matter of principle. It is the role of the Government to facilitate investment not to frustrate it and I am not going to be a part of any administration that will frustrate legitimate businesspeople in this country. Let me make that abundantly clear,” he emphasized.

Inniss, who is the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, also took issue with the police’s removal of vendors from the Duncan O’Neal Bridge in The City almost two weeks ago, saying it was a matter that concerned him.

Inniss said while he wanted the vendors to uphold the law and follow the necessary procedures, he believed authorities should act in a manner that did not prevent the vendors from making an honest living.

“My grandmother was a hawker. I am where I am today because of [hawking] in Bridgetown. So whilst we have to follow the law, the state must also ensure that it is not deliberately frustrating individuals from earning a living in this country, because the alternative my friends is much worse,” Inniss warned.

marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

16 Responses to Feeling the pain

  1. Carlos O
    Carlos O'Brien June 16, 2016 at 12:00 am

    It is a sad indictment when someone who is supposed to be part of a team could come out and condone lawlessness. Obviously this joker is trying to secure votes rather than seeking to achieve solidarity with his leader on a very important matter of principle. Your days as a politician are fast coming to an end!!!

    Reply
    • Coralita June 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Fortunately, you don’t make that decision. You do not determine when Mr. Inniss’ political days come to an end.

      Reply
      • Bernard Codrington. June 17, 2016 at 9:09 am

        He speaks for a lot of people though Can you honestly tell me that breaking the law is in the long term interest of Barbados development?

        Reply
  2. Wade Gibbons
    Wade Gibbons June 16, 2016 at 12:23 am

    He has not condoned lawlessness, he has highlighted the sloth that exists in several Government agencies and how it frustrates business. This is a fact known to any Barbadian living here more than 48 hours and willing to set aside political leanings for 30 seconds. Inniss spoke in English, not swahili.

    Reply
    • Bernard Codrington. June 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

      We all speak English but the same word means different things to different people. A legitimate business man may be setting up a legitimate business to the long term discomfort to most of us.

      Reply
  3. Michael J. Koeiman
    Michael J. Koeiman June 16, 2016 at 12:29 am

    The Minister in charge of Industry contents himself with lamenting the sorry state of industry … I’d rather he *did* bury his head in the sand …

    Reply
  4. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole June 16, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Every one else in Barbados has to apply for permission before they construct any building. Why should Mr.Maloney be above the law. He is claiming victimization when he is the one who erred.

    Reply
    • Coralita June 16, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Why don’t you cease and desist and wait for the court to rule?? I am willing to bet you are just repeating what you heard people saying.

      Reply
  5. Coralita June 16, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Yah true Inniss.

    Bare frustration dealing with lazy, slothful, unprofessional government workers. Some of them go to work and only put in two hours or less and pretend for the rest of the day.

    I have heard too many stories of people having to wait eons to get plans approved in the Town Planning Department.

    Reply
  6. Loretta Griffith June 16, 2016 at 1:51 am

    I wholeheartedly support Mr Inniss’s call that no one should be allowed to frustrate progress, but I would also hope that the health of the citizens is not compromised in order to accommodate progress.
    Sometimes blacks can be they own worst enemies when it comes to having to deal with the same blacks against so called whites. There is this crab in the bag mentality.
    I am all for laws, rules and regulations and a country without laws or rules is heading for anarchy.
    All of us should be treated fairly. None of us should be above the law whether you are black, white or green.
    I hope common sense prevail.

    Reply
  7. jrsmith June 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

    We are supposed to be an educated nation, its f..ing time we act this way and behave this way, how is this looking to other business persons who may be interested in bringing business to Barbados…sad, sad, I for one think there is a lot boiling over in this matter. Most of the time this present government and its bad management is in the way of progress because they are in over they heads…(Barbados LTD ) needs new management…..

    Reply
  8. dave June 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Donville Inniss would be a fool if he does not make his move to wrest the Prime Ministership from the Freundel Stuart before the end of this Term. The DLP is in danger of losing many seats but with Donville at the Hellum the extent of the losses can be manged. Do not listen to me -go ahead and do what wunna like. Noah preached 120 years

    Reply
  9. Bernard Codrington. June 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Taking one’s time is not laziness. Barbados reputation for making wise decisions was based on cool calculated decisions. We do not rush the brush and we arrived safely while other people tripped in their haste.

    Reply
  10. Sherlock Holmes. June 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Dave you are right no one listens to you, you would revel in something of the sort, you want to see disunity in the DLP,so you constantly come here with your idiotic suggestions,what you should do is sort out the rifts in your party then think about giving advice to those whom you believe needs it.By the way Noah was a man of God and a sensible one at that.

    Reply
  11. recoanthony June 20, 2016 at 8:35 am

    PROBLEM SOLVED!!!! MOVE DE FLOWER MILL & DEFENSE FORCE GIVE MM, JADA, INNOTECH BIZZY OR COW DE CONTRACT(S) TO BUILD THEM SOME WHERE, SO DE TAX PAYERS WOULD BE LEFT HOLDING DE BAG AS ALWAYS HAHAHAHHAHA.

    TELL ME HOW ON EARTH ONE COULD BUILD AH CEMENT BOND HOUSE NEXT TO AH FLOUR MILL? AND SOME PEOPLE SUPPORTING THIS NONSENSE?…WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF ANY CEMENT COMES IN CONTACT WID DE FLOUR? IT MEANS, ALL THE BAKERY SHOPS WOULD HAVE TO IMPORT FLOUR, LEAVING THE FLOUR MILL WASTED. ONLY BOUT HAY THIS SH!TE DOES HAPPEN……..WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE SEEMS TO BE BIGGER THAN MARK CUMMINS, SOME BODY SHOULD ASK DE “INCOGNITO MAN”(FROOMS) HES DE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE

    Reply
  12. recoanthony June 20, 2016 at 9:08 am

    DONVILLE WHY DON’T U LET DE pm COME OUT OF HIS HOLE AN SPEAK TO THESE MATTERS WHICH IS UNDER HIS CHARGE? TAKE FOR INSTANCE THAT PROTEST WID SAMUEL INNISS AT BELLE RIVE OVER AH BREAK WATER BARRIER, SURPRISINGLY I READ IN THE NATION OF JUNE 3RD, THE MANAGER OF BELLE RIVE SAID, THEM GOT APPROVAL FROM THE PRIME MINISTER AN T &C P TO CARRY OUT DE WORK…SO THEN IF HES AH FOREIGN INVESTOR AN GONE ABOVE T&CP TO THE PM, WHY COULDN’T IT BE DONE FOR ANYONE ELSE, SO LONG AS U HAVE CLOUT?

    Reply

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