ZIZ News — The construction of a state-of-the-art fisheries complex on Nevis has seen a major road block after a representative of the Fisheries Agency of Japan wrote to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis this month reaffirming its stance that the government of Japan will not fund the construction of a fisheries complex in Bath Village.
For several years, the Nevis Island Administration [NIA] has been seeking to have a fisheries complex constructed on the island and in 2012, then Fisheries Minister, the Honourable Robelto Hector under the Nevis Reformation Party-led NIA, signed documents with the government of Japan, thereby bringing the island one step closer to having the complex constructed.
Upon assuming office in January 2013, the Concerned Citizens Movement led NIA and Nevis’ present Fisheries Minister, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, indicated that the government had no interest in the complex being constructed in the capital city of Charlestown. Since then, he has sought the assistance of the federal government in convincing the government of Japan to have the project relocated.
The May 8th letter, written by Director of Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Hidenao Watanabe, stated “if your government decides to carry out without change of a project, JICA can be started immediately,” adding that “I worry about the decision of cancellation or changing the project site.”
Watanabe wrote, “I acknowledge your country is almost out of OECD DAC list of ODA [Overseas Development Assistance] recipient which is also the standard of Japanese ODA recipient, so this year is the last year of getting Japanese ODA for your country. I hope your side makes the decision of implementation of original plan.”
Having learnt of the new developments where the fisheries complex is concerned, Former Minister Hector told ZIZ News that he was of the view that the CCM government does not have a clear path as it relates to the development of the island’s fisheries sector.
“This so called attempt or idea to seek to have the fisheries complex relocated to a new location at this stage is really silly and I can only interpret this as a means of satisfying two or more of their party financiers. If we are to lose this project, it will be an indictment on the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Alexis Jeffers and it will also be an indictment on the CCM government,” Hector explained.
Hector then said that he was saddened by the CCM’s actions because considerable work had been done to ensure that Nevis receives a state of the art fisheries complex.
“As past ministers, Mr. Guishard of blessed memory, Minister Cedric Liburd and myself, together with the support of the federal government, would have done everything in our power to secure this project. We did all the hard work. The present minister was just simply asked to implement the project. I now see we are at risk of losing some 30 million well needed dollars that can assist in the transformation of the Nevis economy.”