Sir Dwight Venner, ECCB Governor
Sir Dwight Venner, ECCB Governor

A Dominican is said to be under consideration for a top sub-regional post, and, if successful, could continue a trend where children of this country head powerful institutions.

The Sun can report that a highly skilled professional here has been interviewed for the post of governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to replace the retiring Sir Dwight Venner.

Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) monetary council, Anguilla's chief minister Victor Banks, has confirmed that Sir Dwight will leave the post he has held since December 1989 at the end of November.

Banks said that a search team established to find Sir Dwight's replacement had interviewed a number of candidates and had made its recommendations to the leaders, and that a decision was expected soon.

"The search team has made a couple of selections and interviews. They've narrowed it down to three applicants and they have narrowed it down to a preferred [candidate]. The monetary council has to meet to determine if they will accept the recommendation or if they will look [elsewhere]," the chief minister said last week.

He said all three candidates were from the OECS and responded in the positive when asked if the list included female candidates.

One Dominican who spoke to The Sun on strict condition of anonymity confirmed having been interviewed and was awaiting word from the monetary council.

"I've been interview but [there has been] no communication since the interview," said the person.

Sir Dwight, said to be the world's longest serving central bank governor, has reportedly been experiencing health issues in recent times.

"He hasn't been too well. He has been out of work on and off," one source in St.Kitts, where the ECCB is headquartered, told The Sun.

His departure provides OECS leaders with an ideal opportunity to appoint "a different type of central banker," Athie Martin told The Sun.

"We used to talk with Dwight about the need for the central bank to be a catalyst for development. Dwight is a very bright man but he didn't do that," Martin lamented, adding that the Vincentian economist played the "classic" central bank role.

"I think the ECCB could have and should have taken over the responsibility for setting up an eastern Caribbean development Fund and put the PetroCaribe retained earnings there and establish some mechanisms of control. Instead they sat there and let governments abuse the retained earnings. That is just one example of the ECCB's failure, not to take over the responsibility for development, but to help, and they didn't do that. In fact they failed."

Martin said he would not be surprised if Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit had been pushing for a Dominican to replace Sir Dwight because the Dominican leader "is concerned about his legacy".

Skerrit has nominated the Dominica-born British jurist Baroness Patricia Scotland for the post of Commonwealth secretary general, much to the annoyance of many Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders who have thrown their support behind Antigua and Barbuda's nominee Sir Ronald Sanders. At present Dominican Irwin LaRocque heads the CARICOM secretariat, while Dr Carissa Etienne is director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

"He realises that his domestic legacy is shot . . . and if he is concerned about his legacy he might want to do it [internationally]," Martin concluded.

"This is his swan song and it may be that…but his swan song is going to be a bitter pill."