Former Tobago NCBA Chairman says mas bandleaders should not get any more funds

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Former Tobago NCBA Chairman says mas bandleaders should not get any more funds

Mas band leaders on the sister isle should not be getting anymore funds.

That’s according to Terrance Sandiford, former Tobago region chair of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA).

His comment follows the impasse between the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the Tobago Band Leaders Association, whose interim chairman Gemma Bedlow-Dennis is demanding more than the $1.3 million currently allocated to mas bands.

Sandiford, in a GML interview, said the money being demanded by the Tobago Band Leader should instead be invested in Carnival in October.

He added that there has been wastage over the years which must end if the industry on the island is the reach its full potential.

Sandiford told the media house: “To be brutally honest, they should not get no money, they should not get no money. If they are getting money it should be an investment for the 2023 Tobago Carnival because they would have gotten over a period of 20 years nearly quarter of a billion dollars and there is nothing to show for it.”

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, is seeking to develop the island’s festival in October, and is standing strong behind the allocation currently on the table.

Sandiford claims that 90 per cent of the band leaders in Tobago are hustlers.

Sandiford said efforts and resources must be directed to Tobago’s own Carnival celebrations to position the island advantageously as a tourist destination.