Garraway Hotel’s Judith Pestaina is giving qualified support to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s decision to invest $8 million dollars into regional airline LIAT.
However Pestaina, the leader of the Dominica Freedom, has called for transparency and proper accountability on that matter.
“While the decision to invest in LIAT is supported in principle since it is without doubt that LIAT is an economic lifeline for all of us in the region, particularly in the OECS― the process should be transparent, since any investment made by government is the concern of all Dominicans, the current generation and the next, as they are the ones who will have to face the consequences,” Pestaina said in a release.
She wants government “to assure us that it is prudently managing taxpayers’ money”.
According to hotelier and DFP leader, the government’s record on the proper management of public funds “leaves much to be desired”.
“Therefore, the government must inform us of the specific benefits in investing 8 million dollars in LIAT,” Pestaina said.
“Will it mean more frequent access into Dominica and more stayover visitors for Dominica? Will it mean more jobs for Dominicans? What does the decision mean for those who were recently laid off when LIAT’s central office in Roseau was closed,” she queried.
Her list of questions also include whether Dominica will have more influence in decisions concerning LIAT.
“Will it mean that we can expect a more efficiently run airline? The government is obliged to tell us the people whether it has done an analysis of the potential risks and, if so, what are those risks and how does it intend to manage them. We need to know the source of the $8 million” Pestaina said in her statement.
The official parliamentary opposition – the United Workers Party, has already raised similar concerns.
Prime Minister Skerrit confirmed on Friday that Dominica was holding talks with LIAT, and that the first half of the investment – $4 million – would be made within a matter of days following those talks.
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