It is exceedingly difficult to be focused on the road ahead while there is so much distraction along the journey. Trinidad & Tobago has deviated from its path as we tried several back roads only to end up being totally lost. Now is time to get back on track and continue along a path to a better tomorrow.
We once had community policing with a police station in almost every town and village and regular structured patrols. We got lost operating from stations and using the vehicles for almost everything but patrols.
We had community health officers visiting homes regularly and ensuring that families had access to free health care. That got lost with our attempts at regional health management.
We had control of annual licensing of vehicles and immediate access to records of serious traffic violations. Drivers used to be proud of their clean book. Rather than upgrading that system to an electronic version, we got lost with a system that regularly runs out of stickers.
Our children were mandated by law to attend school and it was a crime for children of school age to be away from school. Today many of our Nation’s children gather in gangs and are exposed to criminal activities.
In almost every town and village there was a courthouse where disputes and people who broke the law were given an expeditious hearing. Today many of those buildings are dilapidated and in ruin. We sought to centralize our justice system and are now faced with simple matters taking decades to be heard.We had a train system that allowed traffic free transport from Port of Spain to most of our far away towns and villages. We also had a bus service that was professionally managed with inspectors along the route ensuring that busses were on time. We replaced our public transport system with one that is among the most unreliable in the Caribbean. This system also includes the very costly ferry system to San Fernando.
It was common for citizens to see workers daily cleaning the drains, painting the signs, maintaining our playgrounds, and repairing our roads. Our system of local government management was on par with that of the developed world. We replaced it with an unworkable system of regional corporations.
Our people worked hard in the trades and agriculture, in management and in business. No one was given a free ride and families were proud of their achievements. We replaced that with menial jobs that dehumanizes individuals, with nepotism and cronyism.
As some of our politicians continue to lose focus, seeking recognition and fame from the pain and suffering of others, it is time for us to get back on track. To focus on the journey ahead and return to good management.
God Bless Our Nation.