Michael Manley, a Jamaican leader of the previous generation, had said in the mid-1970s that money was gushing through Trinidad and Tobago like a dose of salts.
Manley was referring to the financial wastage and lack of planning by a PNM regime in the midst of the first oil boom.
The Jamaican politician’s wise words are again having relevance.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s declaration that Trinidad and Tobago must no longer depend upon the energy sector comes against his government’s continued refusal to diversify the economy.
The Kamla Persad-Bissessar Administration had expanded the economy, boosted agricultural production, set up economic zones and attracted an average of US $1.5 billion in foreign investments each year.
Medical tourism was being established, new dry docking facilities introduced, manufacturing boosted and valued investments placed in the ICT sector.
There was institutional strengthening, and sustainable development, designed to create a productive, innovative and knowledge-driven society.
Trinidad and Tobago was becoming a model nation of economic and social achievement.
The Rowley Government has reversed all the hard-fought gains of the administration of Ms. Persad-Bissessar, and, on top of that, is now blaming the society for the most undesirable state of affairs.
Like a dose of salts, indeed!