Members of the Economic Team of Saba met with Kenneth Lei of Development Bank Netherlands Antilles (Ontwikkelingsbank Nederlandse Antillen – OBNA) recently at the Government Administration Building. Accompanying Lei were members of the Small Business Stimulation Funds Saba, Hilton Hassell, Rose Zagers and Sonia Richardson.
The purpose of the meeting was for Lei to introduce OBNA representative for Saba and St. Eustatius, Ingra Benneth. Benneth will be visiting the island monthly to meet with persons who are interested in obtaining a loan or any information regarding the Development Bank. Commissioner of Economic Affairs Chris Johnson welcomed Lei and his delegation and said it was the goal of the E-team to invite various stakeholders to discuss matters related to economic activities on the island.
Lei provided insight into how OBNA functions and what the institution is doing to improve its operations and encourage residents of Saba to once again start applying to the bank for funding for projects with the aim of assisting in the growth of the economy of the island. Lei said he was happy that there is some activity now going on, and stated that the bank is willing and prepared to assist where possible. It was agreed that follow-up meetings will be held in the future.
This seems to be a government publication claiming an action they did not do in reality.
Just check out the GIS publication in this paper http://www.saba-news.com/economic-stakeholders-set-e-team/ where the government introduces the E-Team.
In this GIS press release they announce that the E-Team consists of Head of Economic Affairs, Dave Levenstone; SBA representative, Alida Heilbron; SMA representative, Dean Johnson; Commissioner Chris Johnson; Chamber of Commerce representative, Wolfgang Tooten and Policy Advisor, Koen van Laar.
So in effect in the meeting reported here, none of the key representatives of the Saba Businesses were represented. In their opinion post of yesterday, the SMA complains about lack of cooperation from the government. It seems that they have strong point.
Why waste time and travel money in this way that could easily have been spend to improve the economic growth of our island? Is this a message to trick voters?
Whatever the motivation for the message was, their is no content in the message. What are the options OBAN is offering and under what conditions? This is information that tghe people of Saba expect from a government Information Service: inform the community.
The fact that GIS reports that this group of people enjoyed a cup of tea together in the Government building is not that relevant.