On Thursday, August 31st 2023, Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrence Drew hosted a Media Roundtable with journalists at the Koi Resort.
Many issues were raised and answers were provided by the Prime Minister.
Chief among them were financial issues at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has a direct impact on the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, its ability to service debts, its credibility and the longevity of the bank.
As he has been speaking on the issue for some time, statistics of amounts owed by the Development Bank were given.
“Under the previous administration, this loan of XCD $120 million was basically abandoned,” the prime minister said, quoting the amounts in Eastern Caribbean Dollars.
“Where was Social Security supposed to get back its money? And to have abandoned that loan, and make no payments at all in the end is an egregious act against the people’s funds at the Social Security. Apart from owing Social Security $120 million, it owes a total of XCD $334,833,769.34. That’s over a quarter billion dollars that the bank owes.
Before COVID-19, the bank had not been audited and all the banks in St Kitts and Nevis, or financial institutions, went through their audits. During COVID-19, the only institution to have not been audited is the Development Bank. Financial institutions have abandoned the bank because of bad banking practices, and what is perceived to be corrupt practices. You cannot not audit a bank.”
He said that the results of the audit would be made public in a matter of months.
Coverage of other issues included the appointment of assistant nurses to registered nurses; an update on the resolution to the water issue in Cayon; intraregional travel; and the government’s back-to-school voucher, particularly for students who are enrolled in private schools.