In the coming days leading up to the General Election – to be held on the 21 February 2013 – BU will be raising issues which we hope will be ventilated and explained on the campaign trail. The first is the vexing issue of the stalled Four Seasons project which has been forced from the public eye because of the CLICO and Alexandra issues among others.
It is fair to say that for most Barbadians the inability of all concerned to restart the Four Seasons project remains a big concern. BU believes the project is now suffering from a crisis of confidence. It is no secret the Barbados economy is a beast which must be fed forex to sustain itself. That it would take as long as it has to restart the project – harsh economic conditions notwithstanding – challenges our ability to prioritize and manage the issues.
The news coming from Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last week that the government will be issuing a good news update about the project very soon is being eagerly awaited. The usually loquacious Avinash Persaud has been persuaded to defer to government making the announcement, possibly at tomorrow night’s mass political meeting at Bay Street.
Of interest to BU is whether the government intends to pump millions of NIS money into the project and or issue a guarantee to the investors. On the eve of a general election it is not unknown for governments to dish out sweet heart deals. Against this perspective many will be listening to the announcement by the government with keen interest.
If government makes a decision to invest in the Four Seasons project – and we are speculating here – the question must be asked how can the government commit financial resources to a private sector led project BUT refuse to honour its full obligation to the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (UWI). Another reason BU and others will be monitoring the announcement with great interest.