SVG

Gov’t owed EC$2.67 million in telephone bills – MP

Member of Parliament for South Leeward, opposition legislator Nigel Stephenson.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – An opposition Member of Parliament has said that the Unity Labour Party (ULP) government owed telecommunications service provider LIME EC$2,668,638.57 as of Feb. 24.

South Leeward representative Nigel Stephenson said on radio on Friday that the entire nation “ought to take disciplinary action against the Prime Minister for his incompetence”.

LIME last weekend began cutting telephone service to police stations and had moved to clinics and schools by the time the situation was resolved Wednesday afternoon after a meeting between government officials and the company.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Thursday that accounting officers in the various government departments have not paid sufficient attention to the timely payment of the government’s telephone bills, which amounts to some EC$300,000 each month.

But Stephenson said that the situation resulted from the poor financial health of the country and described Gonsalves as “absolutely incompetent when it comes to running the affairs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

“I have always made the point, if you have a business and you put Mr. X to run your business and for four years you have been making a loss, and there are other business operating in the same environment, selling the same goods and services that you are offering and those businesses are making a profit, would you continue to get Mr. X as your manager?” Stephenson said.

“Look around Latin America and the Caribbean. For all the territories in this region, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the only country that is returning negative growth for a fourth year,” he further stated.

He said that information reaching the opposition New Democratic Party indicates that 99 per cent of all government departments had their telephone service disconnected.

While Gonsalves said there had been “some disconnections of central government enterprises”, he did not say how many were affected.

“But what is the extent of this cutting? Because I have heard the Prime Minister on radio blaming public servants and saying they are not doing their jobs and it is a misuse of resources and so on and so on. I would have thought, having listened to him, that it is one or two departments. But we have been given a list and I want the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to listen very carefully,” Stephenson said.

He said that as of Feb. 24, the following government departments owed LIME the following sums for telephone services:

  • Airport: EC$3,638
  • Customs and Excise: EC$40,240.61
  • Disaster Preparedness Office: EC$7,323.97
  • Inland revenue department: EC$96,276.12
  • Ministry of Agriculture: EC$105,701.37
  • Ministry of Transport: EC$8,271.97
  • Ministry of Education: EC$849,898.58
  • Ministry of Finance: EC$34,291.23
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: EC$62,789.47
  • Ministry of Health: EC$243,703.33
  • Ministry of Housing: EC$43,604.93
  • Ministry of Legal Affairs: EC$119,772.76
  • Ministry of National Security: EC$577,415.74
  • Ministry of Planning: EC$56,407.51
  • Ministry of Rural Transformation: EC$22,236.27
  • Ministry of Social development: EC$43,047.98
  • Ministry of Telecommunications: EC$240,353.44
  • Ministry of Tourism: EC$6,808.37
  • Ministry of Trade: EC$38,774,93
  • Prime Minister’s Office: EC$64,575.21
  • Service Commissions Department: EC$2,373,39

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

Stephenson said that he agreed with Gonsalves, “to some extent, that public servants are not doing their jobs” in paying he bills on time.

“But you can only pay the bills if money is available to pay the bills. … But I want to ask the question: who or which ministry is responsible for releasing money to pay these bills? The Ministry of Finance.”

Stephenson noted that if the Ministry of Finance does not release the money then the bills couldn’t be paid. “Interestingly, the Minister of Finance is the Prime Minister, who has to give the okay for the money to be released and therefore, if any blame should be laid, [it should be laid] squarely at the feet of the Prime Minister.”

He said that Gonsalves could take action against the respective accounting officers, since he is their ultimate supervisor.

“But I want the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to know that you are the supervisor of the Prime Minister. You ought to be supervising his action because any embarrassment that is brought to the government because of the action of the Prime Minister is actually filtered over to you,” Stephenson further stated.

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Discussion

24 thoughts on “Gov’t owed EC$2.67 million in telephone bills – MP

  1. If the Permanent Secretaries are to blame for not sending the Ministry of Finance the bills….then LIME must send them to the Office of the Prime Minister for prompt payment………He will put the Director General of Finance on it right away……….

    Posted by Mc Neil | March 3, 2012, 19:09
  2. It is my real opinion that Gonsalves finds it impossible to be found wrong. It is obvious to me that he has some kind of mental problem in accepting what is right and what is wrong. Inside is outside and outside is inside, downside is upside and upside is downside, clean is dirty and dirty is clean, black is white and white is black, forward is backward and backward is forward, paid is unpaid and unpaid is paid, realistic is unrealistic and unrealistic is realistic, truth is untruth and untruth is truth, ALBA is crap and crap is ALBA, diplomatic is undiplomatic and undiplomatic is diplomatic. What a scrabbled and disjointed mind he must have.

    As the minister of almost everything important, is he a suitable person to have such power and authority. He promised us better times he has given us worse times, he promised us wealth and has given us poverty, he promised us decency and has given indecency, he promised us intelligence and has given us idiocy, he promised us a cut in crime and has given us an increase in crime, he promised us a Dream Team and has given us a nightmare, he promised us a new airport without cost and has brought to the nation a huge debt, he promised us a national stadium and has given us a muddy field, promised us a cross country road and has given us zilch.

    He blames others for all that is wrong, and finds it impossible to delegate.

    CAN WE CONTINUE IN THIS WAY?

    Posted by Peter | March 3, 2012, 19:42
  3. IS THIS FOR REAL?

    Posted by UNITY FOR SVG | March 3, 2012, 22:52
  4. I am stating again……………It is clear that there is an urgent need for a “Process Review” to be done through the entire operational processes with-in ALL the Government Ministries………………….. I can surely volunteer my help on that matter…………..Let’s talk!

    Posted by Vincy 2 D Heart | March 3, 2012, 23:16
    • This is Leadership ULP style! AHH! HA! HA!.. AHH! HA! HA! HA! AHH! HA! HA!.. AHH! HA! HA! HA! AHH! HA! HA!.. AHH! HA! HA! HA!AHH! HA! HA!.. AHH! HA! HA! HA! OH! ME GUT!

      Posted by roinuj | March 5, 2012, 11:55
  5. WOW, UN-BELIEVABLE!!!.. Lets see what the people of SVG do now. They need to occupy the streets of SVG and get rid of this Government!

    Posted by The Analysis | March 4, 2012, 12:02
  6. VINCY 2 D HEART, you are obviously in 3 D mode. The only help you can give is to help with the arrangments for Gonsalves and the Dream Team to get to Cuba, for poodle brain transplants. Then we may see some improvments.

    Posted by Peter | March 4, 2012, 13:06
  7. I believe the poodles are more intelligent than you, Peter. I hope you are getting your fair share of the constituency money USE-LESS is sharing away so that you can buy your half-ah-soap and half pound ah chicken back…LOL… Please save some to pay your internet bill…lol…lol…
    Comrade, you need to check out these NDPites in high offices, if they don’t do their work, DEAL with them. I also suggest you initiate the use of PAY-PHONES at government institutions, too much personal calls are being made on these phones, I saw it myself, it’s happening every day.

    Posted by no-nonsense | March 4, 2012, 15:37
    • OWN THE COUNTRY! OWN THE JOBS! OWN THE DARN TELEPHONE BILL TOO! Wa yo’ bawling for? We have a bunch of ULP “as*es” running the country… from captain to cooks. EXCUSES! EXCUSES! EXCUSES! SCAPEGOTERY! SCAPEGOTERY! SCAPEGOTERY! BOOOORING. No-Nonsense, I really sorry for all’ yo?

      Posted by roinuj | March 5, 2012, 12:14
  8. I know for a fact that the Office of the Leader of the opposition owes money as well. That money is budgeted by the govt to the leader of the opposition to pay his phone bill, office rent etc.

    Obviously these outstanding money is too much, but why when the NDP leak the numbers why did they take out the fact that Anhim’s office owed too, and got theirs cut off as well?

    Posted by Safia | March 4, 2012, 16:10
    • See if you were listening you would remember that in september 2010 Eustace came to the nation and told us that his phone was barred along with that of the governor general’s…..

      THE COUNTRY IS BROKE….. DEAL WITH IT!!!! THATS THE FACT YOU SHOULD COME TO US WITH SAFIA

      Posted by vincy in bad shape | March 4, 2012, 18:15
    • own d government

      Posted by heat | March 6, 2012, 22:39
  9. No-Nonsense its probably you that has run about a million of the phone bills, if you see this happening in your office, you are as guilty as the thief for watching and saying nothing. Just shows your dishonesty for keeping quiet about your ULP thieving scum bags.

    Safia, I doubt very much that Eustace has had his monthly dispensation for months, no one else has been paid so why he.

    The country is bankrupt, trading whilst insolvent. Not long before we default on loans, bill and bonds, its coming.

    Gonsalves has sold the family treasure, Bequias land, Crown lands all over the islands, NCB Bank, Government Super Market. Not much else to sell await the implosion, its coming.

    Posted by Peter | March 4, 2012, 19:21
  10. OH BOY! PEA BRAIN PETER IS AT IT ONE MORE TIME, PEA BRAIN PETER, WHY DON’T YOU CHECK YOUR FACTS BEFORE COMING ON FACE BOOK AND MAKING AN A……..S OF YOUR SELF! EH?

    Posted by Cadwall King | March 5, 2012, 07:49
  11. All this back and forth. This matter is very simple. Ralph say he ha’ money to pay LIME. He say is the Civil Servants fault LIME nay get pay fo’ months. Same thing he say with VINLEC, CWSA, Hospital medicine, and so on. So dem ULP people he gee big PS position “F”-ing up he government. So why he nah fire dem?? So what is the problem here Ralph? Yo’ allowing the same thing to happen over, and over and over again. And every time it happens, yo’ playing the same ole record fo’ we. This old tune getting “fleeing” boring now man!

    So what is the truth here? Yo say yo’ provide money to pay the bills. Bills nah get pay. YO” FIRE the bastards who sh*ting up the thing. Plain and simple. But, no! yo’ come with some kinda “A**S talk”.. ’bout people dun apologise to you. What the hell is that? Comrade, Come clean nuh man! If the truthis that you don’t have the money to pay? Say so. People will respect you for that. You are not speaking to people like VINCY POWA, No- Nonsense, et al. Not all of us are dumdums! Any idiot can see that you are taking Vincy people for a ride. If yo people ‘thief out’ or “misuse” the money yo’ provide to pay the bills.. lock them to hell up. If not, spare us the crap and stop embarrassing SVG.

    Posted by roinuj | March 5, 2012, 14:36
    • “If yo people ‘thief out’ or “misuse” the money yo’ provide to pay the bills.. lock them to hell up.” I agree with you 100%, and who the hell want to cry out ‘victimization!’, to HELL WITH THEM!!!!

      Posted by no-nonsense | March 5, 2012, 21:39
  12. ROINUJ, great insite, well done, very informative.

    Posted by Peter | March 5, 2012, 18:15
  13. ARRRRH PETER, remember shoulder can’t go above head>>>>lol…lol

    Why pick out what you want and hide the rest of the report???? HIDING THE TRUTH FROM VINCY????

    Posted by no-nonsense | March 5, 2012, 21:07
  14. CADWALL KING, I really do not have any idea whatsoever what you are writing about, please elaborate.

    NO-NONSENSE, What report are you referring to? I have no idea what your writing about? please elaborate.

    Posted by Peter | March 6, 2012, 12:24
  15. we vincentian ppl need to open our eyes and see what this man is doing to our country, no job for the ppl where is all of the money is going ?

    Posted by boombastic | March 6, 2012, 13:04
  16. THE PM IS RIGHT ,WHEN HE SAY PUBLIC SERVANTS RUNNING UP THE PHONE BILLS, I AM WORKING IN AN OFFICE AND ONE OF MY COWORKERS SEEMS LIKE SHE DOES BE TO GLAD FOR MORNING TO COME TO USE THE GOVERNMENT PHONE , THIS IS ONE DAY USE OF THE PHONE,FOR THAT GIRL, FIRST CALL 8.10-8.20 [2] 8.25- 8.35 [3] 8.45-0.97 [4] 9.45-10.02 [5] 10.23-10.41 [6] 11.00-11.08 [7] 11.10-11.47 [8] 1.07-1.29 [9]1.40-2.15 [10] 2.17-2.45 [11]3..21-3.26 [12] 3.29-4.11, SO YOU SEE THESE ARE ALL PERSONAL CALL TO ASK PEOPLE IF THE STILL SLEEPING AND WAY THEY COOKING TODAYM WICKED PEOPLE,

    Posted by UNITY FOR SVG | March 6, 2012, 21:58
  17. own the government all yo, and dont turn bac

    Posted by heat | March 6, 2012, 22:41
  18. i blame the high paid idiots on radio every day champion this bull sh*t government

    Posted by heat | March 6, 2012, 23:05

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