(ZIZ News) — The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation [SIDF’s] assistance to the island of Nevis cannot be questioned.
So said Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, as he listed a number of programmes and projects that the SIDF has funded during his budget rebuttal last Friday.
“We have provided us$434,595.95 to bath house and stream rehabilitation. We have provided Mr. Speaker, that is the SIDF I must say, ec$1 million for the reconstruction of the tender pier in Charlestown. We have provided, as the SIDF has done, $4 million for the well drilling project that is going to cost overall $8.5million. So far, $4 million has been disbursed.”
Dr. Douglas went on to highlight the fact that the SIDF contributed to last year’s independence salary bonus.
“The bonus that was paid for our 30th anniversary of independence, $4 million provided by the SIDF to the CCM and there has been a contribution of $1 million following the fire damage in the treasury in Charlestown, Nevis last year. These are grants, grants, they don’t have to repay anything.”
According to Prime Minister Douglas, the Nevis Island Administration has also received substantial support in respect of loans..
“Loans, $3 million to the Nevis Performing Arts Centre, another $6 million in support of capital projects: the roads, drainage etc, another $4.1 million for the purchase of the airport lands and as I said, each of the programmes pursued by the SIDF in terms of small business sector development and expansion, all of these that were done in St. Kitts were also being done in Nevis.”
ZIZ News understands that 23 interns are benefitting from the organisation’s student internship programme with 18 being assigned to the NIA.
Other areas of financial support from the S.I.D.F. include the recognising everyone’s ability to climb higher [R.E.A.C.H.] programme, training for optimal performance of school-leavers [TOPS] programme which has 30 participants, the fund for the realisation of economic empowerment through subsidized housing [F.R.E.E.S.H.], the housing enhancement programme, the equity assistance fund, and small entrepreneur and enterprise development [SEED] new businesses.