Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Letter of the day: PSOJ leaders sleeping on job

Published:Tuesday | September 15, 2015 | 12:01 AM


The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) that exists today is characterised by a leadership deficit that did not exist under the presidency of Christopher Zacca, who had a splendid innings at the crease.

The men at the top today have not used their positions to good effect. They have instead relegated themselves to pundits and government sympathisers while the private-sector entities around them labour in this strenuous economic climate.

Businesses have been struggling each day to cope with the rapid decrease in the value of the Jamaican dollar. In fact, the exchange rate has collapsed, reaching an all-time record of J$118 to US$1 and the lethargic two have said nothing of significance about this.

Neither CEO Dennis Chung nor President William Mahfood has made clear the PSOJ's position on this poisonous devaluation policy. Regretfully, there hasn't been any stridency from them to have the policy reviewed.

The dispute with the incentives on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange is one that the PSOJ's voice has been absent from. In November 2014, shortly before demitting office, Mr Zacca said the PSOJ hadn't taken a formal decision, while adding that in his view, "it encouraged the expansion of a number of businesses, and therefore we should look back at it." Almost a year later, there is still nothing out of the PSOJ on this issue.

These matters, among several other issues such as crime, water supply, exports and high energy cost, have been either lightly discussed or overlooked by the PSOJ in recent times.

PSOJ has lost respect

The issue with the PSOJ is that it has lost respect and presence in Jamaica. The general society is no longer feeling the PSOJ and that could be as a direct result of the posture of Messrs Chung and Mahfood.

Mr Chung needs to figure out where his priorities and loyalties lie. Certainly, if the position of chairman of the National Solid Waste Agency (NSWMA) has been a subduing factor, inhibiting him from advocating on behalf of the private sector, he needs to do the honourable thing and resign as chairman.

As for Mr Mahfood, he, too, needs to decide if he is up to the job of advocacy. He has been weighed in the balance and found uninspiring. At this time, the PSOJ could do with more vibrant personalities and proactive minds at the helm.