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Jamaica's '10-year challenge'

Published:Thursday | January 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association (JMEA), Metry Seaga, has urged Jamaicans to use the 10-year challenge now trending on social media as a litmus test to determine whether the country had made any strides in the fight against corruption.

Persons are challenged to post side-by-side images of how they looked 10 years ago, and of themselves today, in order to allow for an objective analysis of how they have fared.

Seaga, who was guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, St Andrew, last week, put this question to the audience: "If we should do this throwback challenge for Jamaica, what would we see then, versus what is happening today?"

Without waiting for a response, he served up this answer: "We look back, we see FINSAC. We see the Cuban light bulb saga. We see millions and millions of dollars poured into incomplete infrastructure, and the list goes on.

"Today, we see the unfortunate happenings at Petrojam, we see that millions of dollars are being embezzled from Dunn's River Falls, we see inappropriate use of power to grant persons positions that they are not qualified to occupy. What will we see 10, 20 years from now?"

The evidence that Jamaica, unlike most of her Caribbean neighbours, was not taking the fight against corruption seriously was reflected in their comparative global standing in the transparency index, Seaga said.

The Bahamas, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Barbados are all ranked in the top 35 least-corrupt countries in the world, while Jamaica is currently ranked 84th.