Government Outlines Plans For Marketing & National Importing Board

PR – At a Special Press Briefing held on Monday, February 13, 2023,  Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dickon Mitchell outlined the Government’s  plans for the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), following a series of public  consultations on the way forward for the cash-strapped entity. 

Taking into consideration all stakeholder recommendations, the Government of Grenada  took the bold but necessary decision to restart the MNIB as a Public-Private Partnership  within a six (6) month period. 

Effective February 28, 2023, the dissolution and reform of the current MNIB will include  the following: 

  • The payment of staff salaries for January 2023 in the sum of $155,000 and the  termination and severance payment of ninety-four (94) members of staff estimated  at $2.5 million. 
  • The cessation of existing contracts, as far as possible, to significantly reduce third party liabilities (leases, etc.)  
  • The Government’s assumption of all liabilities (both secured and unsecured) with  a view to renegotiate the repayment of debts. 
  • The transfer of all MNIB assets to the Central Government. 
  • A Letter of Expectations as it pertains to the functioning of the current Board of  Directors. 
  • Specific directives to the Ministry of Finance regarding the MNIB. The establishment of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to treat with the  establishment of an appropriate Public-Private Partnership to support the  agricultural sector’s transformation.

The TWG will be composed as follows: 

  • Chair 
  • Member – Representative for the Farmers 
  • Member – Representative for the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce Member – Representative for the Ministry of Agriculture 
  • Member – Representative for Legal Affairs 
  • Member – Representative for Carriacou & Petite Martinique 

In the short term, to facilitate the winding down of current operations and to ensure the  continuance of core services, a Transition Team will be hired under new terms. The Team,  with guidance from the Board of Directors, will be responsible for: 

  • Exiting existing contracts and the closing of retail outlets, as far as possible. The sale of existing inventory and excess equipment and materials. The continuation of the monopoly arrangements for sugar and other dry goods. The reorganisation of the River Road Facility to support existing farmers. The verification of all claims and the submission of detailed reports to the Ministry  of Finance. 

The Board and Transition Team will continue to provide support to farmers in the sale  and marketing of their produce and products, to include the purchasing of fruits and  vegetables for sale to secured markets. 

Prime Minister, Hon. Dickon Mitchell said, “the critical decision was necessary to stop  losses and create a viable and sustainable entity for all stakeholders.” 

In the longer term, the new Public-Private Partnership will be given the mandate to tackle  the current gaps in the coordination of food transport, storage, preservation, distribution, and exportation of agricultural produce and products, to better align with the  Government’s transformational agenda and the thrust to increase food security. 

The Government of Grenada will continue to engage in consultations with the Board,  Union, creditors, and all stakeholders that are crucially important for the success of this  transition process and looks forward to the continued cooperation and participation of all  parties.