THA Chief Secretary Orville London yesterday (Tuesday 4th September 2012) admonished Tobagonians about their work ethic.
Addressing the official opening of Tobago’s newest strip mall, Shoppes @ Westcity in Canaan, the Tobago Chief Secretary said: “I don’t know whether all of us or any of us in this room is completely satisfied with the work ethic of Tobago and of Tobagonians at this point in time. We have got to face reality and we have got to do some serious introspection as Tobagonians as to our work ethic.
“Do we work as hard as we used to; are we working as hard as the other people who are not Tobagonians and the answer might surprise us and disappoint us but the answer must cause us to do better as Tobagonians, it greaves my heart and I must say that,” he added.
London said when a Tobago businessman comes into my office and tells him, “Chief, if I am to make a profit I am sorry I cannot employ Tobagonians”. He said that was interesting but it was not hopeless because it does not apply to all Tobagonians; it does not apply to most Tobagonians.
He added that the majority of Tobagonians do in fact give more than expected; the majority of Tobagonians were committed individuals professional in their outlook and their output. He said: “I am saying to you that there are still not too many who are not prepared to give value for money. I am saying that all of us as Tobagonians have got to do some introspection and ask ourselves what level of support are we giving to Tobago entrepreneurs, what level of support are we giving to Tobago enterprises, what level of support are we giving to Tobago, what level of support are we giving to ourselves and therefore that whole question of work ethic is important.”
London said the Assembly was doing quite a lot to encourage entrepreneurship by providing funding for small business development through the Business Development Unit of the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development.
The multi-million dollar Shoppes @ Westcity is owned by Penny Savers Limited Group of Companies headed by Tobagonian Lloye Warner and comprises 21,530 square feet of commercial space occupied by 20 units, five kiosks and a food court. It was built by local contractors with Mikey Joseph as the project manager.
In a brief address Joseph urged the authorities to enforce the OSHA laws since not many Tobagonians adhere to them. He also appealed to Tobagonians to hasten the momentum of how they worked.
Warner said the project was borne out of the frequent challenges put forth by Chief Secretary London to the business community to go a step further in building Tobago. “As businessmen we look to our leaders, not just for such verbal encouragement, but enlightened policies that will encourage us to invest in our island, empower our citizens and build our communities,” Warner added.
He said it was his sincere wish that the success of his project will serve as a catalyst for other Tobagonian businessmen and women to invest in Tobago, thereby creating the kind of development that the Chief Secretary often spoke of and which all Tobagonians crave. “In so doing we will create a Tobago that we can all be proud of,” he stressed.