National Employment Program here to stay, says gov’t

Dr Irving McIntyre

Finance Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre has assured the public that the National Employment Program (NEP) is here to stay.

According to him, the NEP workers are doing an excellent job.

“The NEP will be here with us and we have to recognize what a good job the NEP is doing,” he said during an interview with State-Owned Radio DBS. “The NEP is what’s keeping our country clean.”

Dr. McIntrye said what the NEP is doing now, in terms of clean-up and beautification, is what was done previously by the Ministry of Public Works.

“Now when you look at the cost of what we pay the NEP, maybe we were paying Public Works and the contractor even more,” he explained.

He continued, “So actually it pays off to have the NEP and they are doing a good job.”

Dr. McIntyre added, “It gives them a sense of dignity and they play a very vital role in keeping our country clean.”

He believes that all this is part of the tourism product.

“The NEP is here, they are doing an excellent job,” he stated. “To say the NEP will go, that is totally out of the question.”

During a press conference in March 2023, Minister for the Environment, Rural Modernization and Kalinago Upliftment, Cozier Frederick revealed that 29 million dollars has already been spent within the NEP in Dominica for the year 2023.

He said NEP is much more than the beautification aspect that persons perceive it to be and involves many other components.

The minister noted that a number of persons are employed at schools across Dominica, within the constituency offices, amongst other places.

“In total, we have a little above the public service numbers where 4352 people engage in the NEP system across the board and so just this year we have spent over $29 million in the NEP which is a significant amount of money and I’ll tell you this is all indigenous funds, local monies,” he revealed. “It is such an important intervention that I think for the most part is clearly misunderstood and we have various components in the NEP.”

He pointed out that there are people engaged in the public sector across the departments of government, at the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, full-time interns in private institutions across the country, and that there are also some institutions that assist.  In these instances, it is a 50/50 percent partnership where the government pays half of the salaries and the institution pays the other half.

Monthly. an average of over $600,000 is spent within the NEP private sector, including the small shop owners, the barber shops, and people engaged at the guest houses.

“On a monthly basis, we spend about $5.8 million to ensure that the smooth running of the NEP occurs and to remind the listening public that the NEP is not just the beautification part of the project but goes across the board into government services and also private sector.”

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  1. If we knew better
    March 25, 2024

    NEP was established because there was HIGH unemployment and the private sector could and still cant afford to hire all the workers they needed to adequately operate their businesses. Which in itself is a clear indication that the economy and private sector isnt doing well. So the government said for a short time it will pay for some of the workers needed to allow businesses to operate better and to reduce unemployment. Fast forward, maybe 10 years later, the private sector STILL cannot afford to employ many of its workers. This is also true for many government institutions that cannot directly hire their workers. Long and short, we should be ASHAMED to say we still have this program going on. The continuation of NEP is a clear sign that the Dominican economy continues to FAIL and the private sector is dwindling. Any basic economist or economy student can tell you this. NEP workers cannot take loans to advance themselves, many times arent paid on time, and are given crumbs to return.

  2. March 25, 2024

    the lowest paying job is nep..and it’s here to stay…keep drm poor mr minister…

  3. Mahaut yput
    March 23, 2024

    Dissident you are very correct with your comment.
    To compare NEP with public works tells me this feller is very wicked and have nothing of substance to offer.
    Yes me may have been a good doctor but hey, I have to question his motive.

    Also DNO please ask Lin clown to avoid some of his insulting remarks. This should not continue

  4. Nkrumah Kwame
    March 22, 2024

    Now this is my issue with every member of this government ; they never give you specific information. Dr. McIntire, YOU are the Minister of Finance so why use the word MAYBE in paragraph 5? Quote the figures, prove your point and dispel all doubt !!

  5. Ibo France
    March 22, 2024

    Minister Irving McIntyre is an excellent medical practitioner, a financial guru he is not. On financial and economic matters he should defer to those who have the requisite expertise in that field.

    NEP workers get minimum wage. Minimum wage in these times of ginormous rise in the cost of living equates to ultra poverty.

    Incentivize the business sector by giving them tax breaks or reduction in business fees. The administrations is bankrupt of creative, innovative, visionary ideas. When one administration stays in power for too long they become depleted of ideas and corrupt to the bone. This precisely what is taking place in Dominica at present.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
  6. Lin clown
    March 22, 2024

    Thank you DNO,your blue boys are ignorant and blind.I know NEP workers who have built concrete houses with decking.I know NEP workers who have bought motor cycles and cars.There are others who spend their money on drugs and alcohol.UWP is hell bent on closing the NEP,the Yes We Care and the $300 monthly for senior citizens.They want to reintroduce the hospital user fee,WICKED.They will pay at the next general election.If they try an overthrow they will pay.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20
    • If we knew better
      March 25, 2024

      Because is drugs they also selling you fool. With NEP you cannot get loan, you cannot apply for financing. Where they get money? That is man that getting their cool out and selling drugs, in their spare time they will work NEP. Fool. Dont you think a hospital user fee, even if is $5.00 a person would help ensure the hospital is always well stocked? But no. Fools like you love freeness and a handout. Never supposed to pay for nothing. I support a hospital user fee. If you are not a child or an elderly, pay the fee, how else you expect the hospital to run properly?

  7. dissident
    March 22, 2024

    “a number of persons are employed at schools across Dominica, within the constituency offices, amongst other places.”
    Was Public works department workers employed at schools and constituency offices and also local businesses Mr. McIntyre?
    These are not high paid public service workers eh. Can you give us a breakdown on where exactly all the $29 Million gets allocated?
    constituency offices
    local business
    and other places
    It would be interesting to observe where de majority of de money goes.
    NEP workers don’t do roadworks
    NEP doesn’t appear to have any civil engineers nor mechanical engineers
    does de NEP workers have a mechanical workshop or garage
    how dear de minister of finance compare NEP workers to de former Public works Department.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3
  8. Roger Burnett
    March 22, 2024

    I wish we banish the word and concept of “beautification”.

    We are not creating beauty, but cleaning up the mess that disfigured that which was beautiful before we made a mess of it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
  9. Zandoli
    March 22, 2024

    How about creating conditions that allows the economy to create better paying jobs. That NEP is only a band-aid that keeps young people working for peanuts.
    How is that different from the situation in Cuba where 8 out of 10 people work for the government or a quasi-government organization and can barely eke out a living?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1
    • Matt
      March 24, 2024

      The big question is why don’t the rich bully western countries leave Cuba alone, like Saudi Arabia’s political system, let Cuba trade and conduct economic activity with other countries without punishing the other countries. What are they afraid of prosperity?
      With over 70 years head-start western countries still have not proved that Cuba system has failed, yet they each invest heavily in the Saudi system.
      Can’t you see by now how they have brought the world to the brink of starvation with aid and sanctions? This has failed the world. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  10. Let's Face It
    March 22, 2024

    Although I think this government has hit a plateau, the minister is right. I do support Thompson, but only if one wants to lose credibility you’d want to oppose a stepping-stone employment program. Obviously the PM doesn’t know how to create high paying jobs, neither do anyone outside the major western countries that have put a plethora of obstacles in the way of our countries developing, in exchange for some aid, in order that you are never able to feed your self and they don’t want you to. But you need to subsidize for shortfalls. Thompson needs to be surrounded by people who have a knack for strategizing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
    • March 22, 2024

      If you know how to create high paying jobs, why don’t you just lead by example, let us see what you can do. Talk is cheap.

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