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FLYING FISH & COU COU: $40 000 a red flag


BARBADOS NATION

FLYING FISH & COU COU: $40 000 a red flag

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A STATUTORY CORPORATION that is nearly $100 million in debt and struggles to pay its bills monthly, has decided to spend nearly $40 000 to erect a flagpost and signboards to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

This is on top of the thousands of dollars it has already spent, and is committed to spend, in relation to the celebrations.

The move has angered a number of senior staffers who contend the funds could be better utilised in other aspects of the organisation’s operations.

One staffer told Cou Cou that the cash-strapped corporation’s contribution has been integral in informing Barbadians about the celebrations, and feels the move was wasteful spending at a time their major cash-earning business is under pressure to provide its clients with quality service.

The purchase requisition for the project seen by Cou Cou states that the “construction and erection of signboards and flags” cost $39 357.45. And it is for the 50th anniversary project.

It further states in bold red letters, “urgent” and “$20 000 to be paid before work commences”.

Conscientious staffers who are worried about the future of the organisation given its debt profile, are now hoping their new general manager would not seek to spend any more funds from the entity’s beleaguered coffers to finance any more anniversary celebrations, as they contend the St Michael institution cannot afford it.

Get used to changes

COU COU WANTS to know if cameras will be installed within the Customs inspection areas at the Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams International Airport after the Customs and Excise Department is integrated with the Barbados Revenue Authority after October 1.

Talk about this is coming from some Customs officers, and they are suggesting that BRA will find themselves in hot water if they try to do such a thing.

Already, BRA has managed to tick off some senior Customs officers who are crying about what is essentially supersession, and are threatening to take the agency to court if certain appointments are not rescinded pronto.

But according to a senior civil servant, the Customs officers better get used to the new way of doing business under the BRA. He told Cou Cou that qualifications will matter more than years of experience on the job as the BRA plans to modernise Barbados’ tax collection system, so the antiquated inefficient ways of doing things in Customs, which could sometimes not be transparent, will be eliminated.

Best wishes for speedy recovery

EVERYONE GETS SICK at some point, so no-one should make fun of anyone whose health has been affected.

This is particularly true if the individual may have a psychiatric challenge. That’s why Cou Cou sincerely hopes for the full recovery of a community activist whose once strident voice has not been heard in public for more than a year after he was committed to hospital.

In his heyday, the articulate, religious-minded individual did yeoman work to sensitise the country about the abuse of drugs and was in the vanguard of campaigning for a number of worthwhile causes for the upliftment of Barbadians. We wish this man victory over his adversity through a speedy recovery.

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