Ought not be required

Ought not be required

Last Thursday’s report headlined “Call for robust maintenance programme at Port St. Maarten’s cargo facilities” raised questions. It was based on a press release issued earlier in the week by caretaker Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Grisha Heyliger-Marten following a visit to the facility.

She said management recognised the critical need to bolster operational efficiency, safety and cost-control. This makes one wonder whether “proactive maintenance” wasn’t already prioritised rather than depend on a minister’s involvement.

Nevertheless, the link to food security is important. The same goes for preventing expensive delays in freight ships docking that also limit the capacity to handle additional vessels, congestion and missed business opportunities.

These are good ideas, but in principle such an essential government-owned company shouldn’t have to be reminded regarding crucial aspects of their main responsibilities. The executive top and supervisory board may be expected to properly take care of such matters on their own.

As no mention was made of any planned public investment support, they will probably have to attract any related external financing according to what the harbour produces. So, while the minster’s intervention to prompt action is welcome, it ought not be required.

The Daily Herald

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