(ZIZ)– Minister of Information, Hon. Nigel Carty, says despite the dire proclamations of those seeking to undermine the government’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), it is doing well and, according to him, it is one of the stabilizing factors in the government’s social programmes.
Minister Carty’s comments followed last week’s renewed attempts by opposition forces to undermine the CIP using an unfounded “CNN iReport” which alleged that the US Treasury Department was investigating three Iranians who were in possession of St. Kitts/Nevis passports.
“There are people who have been trying to undermine the government’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). It is, I think, the stabilizing factor behind the government’s social programmes in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is something of which we are very proud. It gives tremendous support to the SIDF and I think that over the last couple of years, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis have been able to benefit tremendously through the PEP programme, the number of small business support programmes that we have put in place, the FRESH, the SAFE and other initiatives,” Carty explained, adding that “A number of road projects (and) housing projects have all been financed to certain extent by funds coming from the SIDF. So we do understand that there is an interest by those who do not support the government to undermine that programme.”
He continued that people should understand that “CNN iReport” are not the stories of CNN journalists or correspondents and that this medium, which was created to allow for the open exchange of news and information, is unfortunately abused at times by some individuals in order to pursue their own agendas.
“So the reports which people see on CNN iReport and so on, I think they should understand those are not stories that are not put out by CNN. They are stories that often are put out by political activists and other persons who wish to just put their articles out there for people to see and for them to stir up sometimes confusion and to mislead the public as to what is happening in relation to a particular issue.”
CNN iReport provides an opportunity for people around the globe to submit articles, videos and other media to tell the news from their point of view. Some of the stories are at times followed up on by CNN. The submissions to CNN iReport are not the actual, carefully investigated and thoroughly verified reports of bona fide CNN journalists.
Minister Carty concluded that the CIP is backed by a superb due diligence process, much like those found in the United States and Canada where there are similar programmes. He noted that some of the same investigators and background check service providers used across North America are engaged by the government here in verifying all information provided by applicants.
“The government feels very strongly that the Citizenship by Investment Programme is backed by a very effective and due diligence process. We use international service providers in that regard, we use the same providers that the Canadians and the United States use for the Citizenship by Investment Programme because they do have those programmes as well so, we stand by our programme and we believe that the government will continue to do what is right in terms of making sure that those persons who have expressed interest go through a very rigid or tedious process before their documents can be approved,” Minister Carty explained.