Griffith plans to transform St Joseph like police service

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Executive members of the National Transformation Alliance at the party’s new headquarters in Mt Lambert on July 6. – Faith Ayoung

National Transformation Alliance (NTA) political leader Gary Griffith says he intends to transform the constituency of St Joseph when he becomes its MP in the same way he transformed the police service.

On July 6 at the launch of the party’s new headquarters at the corner of Mt Lambert Circular and the Eastern Main Road, Mt Lambert, he stated his intention to win the constituency of St Joseph in the next general election and “make it safe again.”

He again voiced the intention of the NTA to run for all 41 seats in the next general election saying there were already candidates for some seats and possible candidates for others were being interviewed. The NTA will also be setting up an office in the San Fernando West constituency in a few weeks.

Griffith said younger people no longer supported the PNM or the UNC blindly and there were more independent thinkers in the country.

He said he was not discrediting or attacking those individuals who were PNM or UNC “till they die” nor was he there to “split the vote” so the PNM could win, but to represent the constituency.

“We are here to represent those independent thinkers, those floating voters, those individuals who are actually looking to analyse the situation, to see, ‘do these individuals have what it takes to make this a better country?’ And that’s what the NTA is here for.”

Griffith said when opposition political alliances were formed in the past the PNM was defeated so the NTA intended to work with other political parties in an alliance of minds.

He said any alliance could not only be about getting the PNM out of office as the alliance government would collapse if it won the election but had no real strategic plan or people with training or experience to run the various ministries.

In the same way he transformed the police service by using the $300 million he saved in overtime corruption to create new units and command centres and get new equipment for officers in his three years as police commissioner, he said he would transform the country.

This would be done through the use of a road map towards good governance created by the independent body, the Strategy Institute of TT, not by building more roads, hospitals and police stations.

“What is going to bind this (alliance) together when we get in government is that we will all have a common goal, a common vision, a common mission, a common objective by looking and realising there is a template now that we intend to use, through the Strategy Institute of TT.”

He said they would not come up with random wild ideas in a manifesto to impress people but would work with the Strategy Institute which analysed what could be done to improve every arm of public service. He added that the templates used the principles of leadership, accountability, management and measuring performance, and would reduce corruption, incompetence and bad management.

“What the Strategy Institute of TT has done is they have looked at major templates towards looking at how best they can transform TT through people and society transformation and development, safety and security transformation, economic transformation, effective management of all resources, good leadership and governance requirements, and remodelling and transforming state institutions.”

He gave the example of the health sector. He said over 60 per cent of TT citizens died because of cancer, heart disease and cardiovascular disease, and the average life expectancy of its people was 74.

The plan was to ensure immediate treatment to anyone with these ailments so they would not have to wait years for treatment in the public heath sector, allowing their conditions to worsen and reduce their life expectancy if they could not afford to go to a private institute.