It is the dream of most Jamaicans to see our country become a first-rate country with adequate infrastructure so that the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive.
Yesterday I was saddened at the comments of a friend who is a loyal Jamaican rearing to bring his skill set to work for the Jamaican people. This brother stayed home and has been willing to continue to innovate for the good of the country.
In a social media post, he lamented the corruption, and dare I say, the ineptitude of *Government*, to see to the needs of Jamaican innovators, particularly in the tech industry. (the term *government* is used party neutral)
I pointed out to my friend that now that other nations are focused on technological advancements for their people, all across our tiny nation, there is a tremendous need for roads, where roads exist they are crater-filled.
The Government boasts about building bridges, nevertheless, in a situation in which a bridge is erected it is done for show, for the now, it is not constructed like an edifice that will stand the test of time, much less accommodate the needs of an ever exploding population.
In the case of the bridge in this article shown above, there is a conversation to be had, that there was none there before, but building it should not be about bragging rights, it ought to be about putting in place a structure that will be there for another hundred years, long after we are gone.
How can a government focus on the needs of technology when it lacks the vision, commitment, and wherewithal to see to the most basic infrastructural needs of the nation.
Roadways, bridges, water supply, electricity, schools, hospitals, fire stations, prisons, police stations, and yes, broadband, that is the role of the government, to put in place and maintain those infrastructures so that the people can innovate.
The taxes derived from innovation if handled properly, will be more than enough to maintain those infrastructures.
Which brings me to the new toll road increases.
Jamaica should not be in a position that required foreigners to come to Jamaica to build roads that Jamaicans should be building and maintaining themselves.
Decades of corruption and theft of tax-payers resources by the two political parties, resulted in the door flung wide open for the Chinese to Waltz right in and dangle shiny new roads. Of course, with it, they needed to extract their pound of flesh, so away went prime Jamaican property dirt cheap, and that was just the beginning of it.
The cost of driving on the new roads are so astronomical, that many motorists are forced to stay off them. So desperate was the Government of the day when they negotiated with the operators of the new Highway 2000, that they basically gave in to whatever they wanted. Those are the things developing nations are forced to do when they negotiate from positions of weakness. Those are the things corrupt developing nations do when they squander and steal their people’s scarce resources.
It is understandable that because of Jamaica’s ever depreciating dollar, costs will go up, which is a major challenge for whoever forms the government.
Notwithstanding, the government must find ways to ease the burden from the poor people who are finding the crushing weight of the cost of living far too much to bear.
Already the public utility company does as it pleases with electricity rates, there are hotels in our country that the average Jamaican will never be able to sleep in, beaches they cannot afford to enjoy in their own country, and roads they cannot drive on.
The development of a nation must include the people, it cannot be that we have a country in which the natives are like second class citizens in their own country.
Mike Beckles is a former police Detective corporal, businessman, freelance writer, he is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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