CARICOM governments urged to pay their dues

Barbados Today:- Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss has delivered a stern rebuke to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders who have not been paying dues to regional organizations, arguing that they were playing fast and loose with the sustainability these vital entities.

Delivering the feature address at the 32nd meeting of the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) at Accra Beach Hotel this morning, Inniss did not mince words, stating that many of those who had been delinquent were often the ones who demanded the most from the very organizations.

“I have been a Cabinet minister for ten years and I have attended many CARICOM meetings and have been involved in some of the most robust debates with other territories only to find out later that the ones keeping the most noise have not paid their dues,” Inniss said.

The minister further accused delinquent member states of having misplaced priorities, complaining that some could be seen spending lavishly on international trips, which sometimes amounted to more than what was owed to the regional institutions.

“I have also travelled extensively outside to meetings and I have to be frank. Sometimes you see cabinet ministers and public officers from delinquent islands, sometimes the fees that they owe is sometimes as low as US$5,000 per year, but yet they fill the front of the aircraft with officers at a rate of almost US$7,000 per seat, then you add to that accommodation cost and per diems and I say to myself that we got wrong priorities,” he stressed.

Inniss warned this trend was simply untenable as it would be difficult for the regional organizations to function effectively without the necessary financial resources.Read More..

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