Last week’s flurry of Royal Decrees issued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, effectively restructuring the government apparatus and system, promises to maximise the efficiency and productivity of ministries. It’s a great new beginning that will have a very positive long-term impact on all O manis.
We now have the time and the awareness of local need to plan our future that incorporates developments that serve first and foremost the entire local community. We need to review carefully how we utilize our precious resources as well as considering what is the most positive impact of all spending on the economic, environmental, cultural, and social welfare of all Omanis.
“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” Paul Coello
We live in an incredibly beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources that include a sincere hard-working and resourceful indigenous population. Oman has been at the forefront of sustainable design, environmental awareness and conservation since the 1980s. Before his accession, His Majesty Sultan Haitham spent decades enhancing and preserving the culture and heritage that makes Oman so unique and a world leader in sustainability and environmental preservation.
“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader…. They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role, always about the goal.”
There are many opportunities in the sustainable development of a variety different industries where the maximum coefficient of benefit can be positively achieved from the aquaculture and fisheries sector to scientific research and development, education, healthcare and most especially the hospitality industry.
We now have an extraordinary opportunity to refocus development planning initiatives on country needs projects and eco-development that directly benefits local communities. With a renewed sense of a collective connection not only within our local communities but regionally and internationally, we need to leverage our renewed awareness of local needs to drive positive and inclusive local initiatives. There is a need to look at projects from a perspective that maximises the coefficient of benefit to local and country wide development.
The advent of lower oil prices and contraction of economies worldwide have resulted in governments having to tighten fiscal budgets. These conditions will necessitate the reduction of government spending through the consolidation of ministries and government agencies.
Since the government, sovereign wealth and pension funds are generated by all Omanis, it should follow that the priority for investment of all funds should be in developing projects that maximise the coefficient of benefit for local and countrywide development.
We need to reinforce our mandates to hire local SMEs all over the country, local service providers, local suppliers, and local consultants. This includes supporting regional and international consultants that have invested in setting up offices and local companies working together with Omani SMEs as a priority.
There is a need to create a measurement and/or mechanism that rates how ministries distribute their resources to maximise the coefficient of benefit or value with the greatest positive impact on the economic, environmental, cultural, and social welfare of the local Oman community. We need reward systems in place for innovation and value creation. We are facing a challenging future economically which will drive a reduction in government spending that will include cutting government personnel. A safety net of a thriving private sector will need to be supported to provide competitive employment in the private sector, while public sector funds must be prioritised to have the maximum impact on the local community.
[Eng Michael Katz is a longstanding resident/investor in Oman, specialising in the development of sustainable and efficient solutions for EcoTourism, Hospitality, Aquaculture, Alternative Green Energy, Deep Ocean Water and Ecological ESG compliant projects]