Charlestown, Nevis (February 13, 2007)
Minister with responsibilities for Cooperatives and Fisheries in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon. Robelto Hector told fishermen in Nevis that government is committed to see fishing at its greatest level and to give its support the Nevis Fishermen Marketing and Supply Cooperatives Ltd.
The Minister gave his assurance on Sunday February 11th 2007 at the annual general meeting of the organisation held at the Cultural Center on Old Hospital Road in Charlestown.
“I want to assure you that you would get the commitment that is needed. You are going to get that training as you so rightly pointed out during the consultations that you could benefit from. We intend to look at the legislations that would affect the smooth flowing of the cooperative and industry. We intend to make the necessary changes to assist you”, he said.Following the closure of the fisheries complex, late last year, due to lack of operational funds, assistance from the Minister was sought. A number of consultations and meeting with board members and fishermen throughout the island were held to appraise them of the closure and to find out the concerns and needs of the fishermen.
In view of the fact that the fisheries complex could not function due to several factors arising from the consultations the annual general meeting was held under the theme “Repositioning ourselves for greater efficiency”. Mr. Hector challenged the fishers to make the event an annual one having looked at the history of the cooperatives and noted that for some time now an annual general meeting of the organisation had not been held.
“The strength of any organisation is its members. I am asking you to make sure that this event, your annual general meeting as stated by your by-laws is truly followed. In so doing, you would have an opportunity to elect those who you think would do the greatest job in your organisation. An organisation would not be strong, if you do not have what I refer to as continued assessment, continued collaboration of the minds and making that journey forward”, he told the fishermen.
During the meeting seven persons were been nominated. Winston Pinney, Conrad Perry, Everett Cozier, Emmanuel Caines, Rogol Mills, Frankie Claxton and Alfred Tyson were nominated to run the affairs of the fishermen’s cooperatives.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Cooperatives and Fisheries, Mr Pearlivan Wilkin highlighted some of the concerns of the fishermen that arose during the consultations. He said that the main ingredient to reposition the Nevis Fishermen and Marketing Supply Cooperative Limited for efficiency will be one of quality leadership. and management. This he said is the key to any successful organisation and to all those who would be elected to serve as board members.
Mr. Wilkin assured the fishermen that the government had noted their concerns arising from the consultations and was currently working on addressing them.
“The government has given its commitment to pay the salary of a manager for a specific period of time, to secure the services of an auditor inspector to help with the accounts, and to provide the type of administrative environment at the ministry so that the department and fishermen cooperative could improve its production.
We at the Ministry have our own concerns about the low membership, low share capital and low commitment on the part of some of the fishermen. However, I think all these issues were raised during the consultations. We’ve had over 100 fishermen attending the different meetings and I am sure the registration is now showing many more persons than it showed before the consultations, so the numbers are growing”, he said.
According to Mr. Wilkin the new nominated members are expected to bring transformational leadership bringing the organisation from a low level to a high level as it repositions itself for greater effectiveness.
The annual general meeting was the 5th meeting of the Nevis Fishermen’s and Supply Cooperatives Ltd. since it was established.