Such a shame that after 42 years of Independence we still have foreign nationals running some of our key State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). We remain their subordinates. We comply with their instructions or we get disciplined and fired. Besides the very bad experiences with one or two of the foreign nationals, a number of them have done a far more professional job than our very own nationals. Some of us have tried to lead, but we’ve failed. So we’ve allowed others to come and lead us. We are subservient to them. They lead, we follow. At 42, instead of us running our agencies we still have others at the helm. How much longer, that question is for us to ponder and to ask ourselves. We’re to blame.

We own the institutions (like Air Vanuatu, VNPF, NBV), but others run them for us, as if after 42 years we are still incapable. What exactly does that reveal and tell of us? Competence? Hell No! After 42 years, doesn’t that embarrass us? Sad part of it all is, when they ransack or manipulate our organisations (as one or two have done), we jump up and down and shoot bullets. But candidly, who the hell is to blame? Them or us? Hopefully this article wakes us up as a people out of our very long slumber, or coma.

The Distant Voice is a weekly column focusing on various aspects of life and development in Vanuatu.

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