Former Prime Minister critical of Caribbean Development Bank
CASTRIES – Former Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has lost sight of the reasons for its existence as he criticised the present management of the region’s premier lending institution.
Anthony, a former finance minister said the bank has been doing a disservice to St Lucia and the region, telling legislators: “I say unashamedly that I do not support the current management of the Caribbean Development Bank.”
“I don’t I have hinted that before in this Parliament,” Anthony said, adding “because I do not believe that the current management of the Caribbean Development Bank are living to what the founding fathers of the bank and in particular, our own Sir Arthur Lewis, pronounced for that bank.
“The Caribbean Development Bank has departed from that and the Caribbean Development Bank has lost sight that the reason for its existence is to facilitate the development of small Islands,” he said Tuesday, as he contributed to a government motion authorising the Minister for Finance to borrow from the CDB an amount not exceeding US$4.9 million.
The loan consists of a Special Funds Resources in the amount of US$2.4 million and an Ordinary Capital Resources estimated at US$2.4 million for the purpose of financing the services of consultants to conduct Implementation (LABs) workshops and to set up a Performance Management and Delivery Unit.
“That is in the founding document. That is what Sir Arthur preached and that is what Sir Arthur when he was president of the bank, attempted to do. The bank has long departed, Mr Speaker, from that founding principle.”
Anthony said there’s nothing that the CDB loves more than consultants, adding that every single project must have consultants.
“It is an industry and the Caribbean Development Bank in particular has a fascination for Canadian consultants,” he said, adding “it is not often you get them appointing regional consultants except when it suits their purposes for example assessments of poverty reduction, they may use a firm out of Trinidad.
“So the moment the Caribbean Development Bank sees a proposal for consultants it latches on to it . . . and by the time they are finished they have their consultants all lined up,” Anthony said, as he called on the government to share its experience on a project in Bexon, south east of here.
He recalled the problems his administration endured when the CDB was involved in the drainage project in Bexon, saying “the CDB had promised to make the allocation of funds available, they insisted that there be consultants”.
“Year in year out consultants, waiting for reports, when they finish with the reports, they insisted they had to engage the public and people of the community to tell them what they were proposing. Then when that was finished months passed, nothing happening, elections came and of course I don’t know exactly where the project is . . . ”Anthony said. (CMC)