Poor customer service is endemic in Trinidad and Tobago.

So I wish to sincerely thank the Honourable Donna Cox, Social Development and Family Services Minister, for appealing to members of the corporate and financial sectors to facilitate older persons to do business more easily at their different institutions.

When she spoke at the TTConnect’s office in Chaguanas in March this year, she said, “Today I make an appeal that comes from the depths of my own heart, not just as the minister, but as a citizen and the daughter of a senior citizen. Please do something, anything that would relieve our senior citizens of that burden of having to line up at 6 a.m in the morning to collect their money, when your institution opens for business at 9 a.m.”

Referring to the “long lines of senior citizens snaking around the buildings housing our major financial institutions, on the first and 15th days of every month” she also noted, “Those two days are significant days for our elders, as those are the days when they receive either their senior citizens pension or their NIS pension.”

What she had to say was pertinent because she reflected the feelings of many persons. After what I had observed over several months, I sent a letter to an official at the communications department of my bank on February 24, 2019.

I stated in part, “Through you and on behalf of senior citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, I wish to recommend that your bank’s branches provide better amenities for the elder persons who have to use your services.

(1) At the San Juan branch, older clients have to stand outside in the hot sun, only to be let inside in batches and then have to suffer a long time in the lines which accommodate other clients.

(2) At the Independence Square branch, the lines are inordinately long and there is sometimes only one teller for older persons

At Park Street the situation is the same as at Independence Square.

I recognise that there are ATM facilities at each branch and there is also e-banking, however there are issues of mistrust with these electronic systems. As a result, our older citizens prefer to have face to face contact with your staff.”

Minister Cox echoed my last concern, that while many of these institutions have made their services available online, as her ministry has done, she said “Quite a few of our senior citizens will never utilise those services, either out of fear or simply because this represents their one excursion for the month.”

The problem may be that the private and State sectors do not budget adequately for good customer service, hence the deficiencies like those at the banks. I am aware that there is a Customer Service Professionals` Group of Trinidad and Tobago (CuSPTT) launched two years ago by DRA Consulting’s Dawn Richards. Hopefully, the group may have some future impact.

Or, maybe Minister Cox may be able to nudge the banks, other financial institutions and the State toward better customer service.

Aiyegoro Ome

The SINUHE Centre

Mt Lambert


For months this newspaper has been urging the Ministry of Health to initiate a vaccine awareness campaign based on a scientific ­survey of public attitudes in preparation for its arrival.

An article dated March 15, 2021, on aljazeera.com listed 21 countries that had suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, mainly due to blood-clotting concerns.

In spite of the best efforts of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and former national security minister Stuart Young, crime continues to be the number one enemy of people and country.

In my humble view, the continuing fight against criminals requires the intervention of level-headed, objective and bipartisan professionals. As such, I was grossly disappointed with the appointment of Fitzgerald Hinds as the new Minister of National Security, and could see no advantage in this move.

A quick search for the meaning of this crime turned up the following opening definition: human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit.

There is so much to be gleaned from the Opposition Leader’s backhanded tribute to recently deceased Minister Franklin Khan on Monday night.

It speaks not only to her character, but to that of the political party she leads as well. As the saying goes: “If you listen carefully enough, someone will tell you exactly the kind of person they are.”

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un... “Surely we belong to Almighty God and Him shall we return”.

Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front) is deeply saddened by the death of the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan, Member of Parliament for Ortoire-Mayaro, and chairman of the ruling People’s National Movement.