BVI News

Ministry of Education & Agriculture gets two Permanent Secretaries

Joint Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Education & Agriculture Dr Marcia Potter (left) and Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe.

In a move expressed as enhancing key social and productive sectors, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Sports & Agriculture is expected to benefit from the posting of an additional Permanent Secretary (PS).

In a government release sent on Tuesday, May 18, it was announced that Dr Marcia Potter, who is no stranger to the post, is expected to once again serve as PS in the Education Ministry, after previously holding the position for nearly a decade at one point.

The release said that effective Monday, May 17, some of Dr Potter’s areas of responsibility include Education and Scholarship; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Historical Research and Projects; the Department of Culture; Department of Youth Affairs & Sports; Library Services Department; Higher Education Licensing Board; H. Lavity Stoutt Community College; and the Recreation Trust.

The release further said the incumbent Permanent Secretary, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe is expected to oversee the areas of Fisheries, Agriculture, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Office Administration.

Joseph Smith Abbott, it added, will now act as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour & Immigration where Dr Potter just recently served.

Smith Abbott previously served as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of National Resources Labour & Immigration since 2014. He has also held the post of Deputy Director of the National Parks Trust, and led the Trust as Director from 1998 until 2014.

Governor John Rankin made the appointments.

With two well-seasoned and experienced persons manning the post, it is expected that key social and productive sectors within the ministry will receive more support.

Ministerial renaming

In early 2019, on the recommendation of Premier Andrew Fahie, the names of the ministries were renamed with the Ministry of Education and Culture retitled Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture.

At the time, Premier Fahie said the introduction of an additional Permanent Secretary had been in discussions since the name change in the ministry.

“I am pleased to see that this has been advanced to ensure that significance is placed on developing fisheries and agriculture as another economic pillar, and in strengthening food security, and ensuring the sustainability of the sectors from an education and economic standpoints,” Premier Fahie stated back then.

Public Service flexibility

Meanwhile, Deputy Governor, David Archer, Jr said the shift reflects government’s commitment to maintaining education and culture as priorities while improving agriculture and fisheries as industries with the ability to grow the local economy.

“All these areas are vitally important to the territory’s post-COVID recovery, and having two such experienced and competent public officers will mean that the subjects of education, culture, fisheries and agriculture get the attention and guidance they need to thrive in this transitional time,” he said.

Archer added that such occasional re-appointments are a sign of the Public Service’s flexibility and agility in demanding global circumstances.


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  1. Resident says:

    it should only have one p.s, Ms Potter is more than capable of doing the job alone

    Like 20
    Dislike 7
  2. Good move says:

    Welcome back Dr. Potter. Good move! Now just change the minister and we good. I want to welcome back Myron soon.

    Like 42
    Dislike 18
  3. LOL says:

    Trying to beat the COI recommendations but too little, too late will be the cry. The Minister of this subject is VERY WEAK and way out of his league, sorry.

    Like 17
    Dislike 11
  4. Hmmm says:

    As PS when the Dept of Agriculture and Fisheries is almost non existant. The rest is just B..S..! to justify a high paying job.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  5. Anonymous says:

    Good move. Now let’s have two ministers. The portfolio is overloaded for poor Natalio

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  6. PS Office Administrator says:

    “Permanent Secretary, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe is expected to oversee the areas of Fisheries, Agriculture, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Office Administration”.

    what is there to oversee in Fisheries and Agriculture and Ecclesiastical Affairs?

    This is a waste of a PS. They couldve just switch Permanent Secretaries in the two ministries.

    Like 15
  7. Lodger says:

    S-A was in charge of National Parks for the disastrous pop concert fund raiser that lost $800k! Not sacked. Just moved sideways. Our government is basically just one big back scratching family. There is no part of our infrastructure that is not related to another.

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  8. SMH says:

    Where is the Tourism Minister deCastro? Nothing from her on tourism in over a year. Shameful! She needs to be sent home.

    Like 17
    • @SMH says:

      It’s not only her. Where is Hon Caines? Where is the rep for the fourth district?

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
      • SMH says:

        Hon. deCastro is responsible for Tourism, it’s the most impacted industry at this time and not a word from her except poems and egg hunts. The fact that BVI people are not speaking out on this says it all, it’s not what you do but who do it.

        Like 11
    • @SMH says:

      The plan is a secret, we don’t want anybody to see it. “Fahie words”

    • 1st district says:

      Ahyo ain’t hear that the Primer running every department that’s why everything fxxup

  9. Deh Watcha says:

    All who vote to ‘drain the swamp’ I glad for all of you.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  10. heckler says:

    Wrong move because it is a new minister we wanted

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  11. Interested says:

    Does anyone else feel that all is not well in this ministry ?

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