Charlestown, Nevis, June 13, 2022 (NIA) – Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), has set the record straight by giving an account of how the NIA has put the $400 million in revenue from St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment (CBI) program to use on the island.
Highlighting that 93 per cent of CBI monies have been kept in St. Kitts while only seven per cent has been allocated to Nevis, Premier Brantley outlined dozens of projects and expenditures undertaken on Nevis over the past seven years.
“My government is transparent and open so let us start from the fact that the under $400 million was received not at one time but over the course of seven years. That means that Nevis received roughly $57 million per year.
“Salaries and pensions for public servants in Nevis average $8.5 million per month or $102 million per year. During COVID we applied all of CBI receipts to salaries and pensions but still had to find another $45 million to do so. Put differently, the paltry seven per cent could not even cover our civil servants and pensioners. In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 double salaries were paid to public servants and workers at statutory corporations. Those amounts totalling roughly $61,200,000 were paid from the same $400 million.
The Premier continued, “We expanded our road network with major projects at Hanley’s Road, Braziers, Brown Hill, Butlers, Shaws Road, Farms, Island Main Road to name a few; we built the IAAF-certified Mondo track; we also refurbished the drag race track; we built the new landmark Treasury Building in Charlestown; we built the water taxi pier at Oualie which has revolutionized travel between St. Kitts and Nevis; we are engaged in the ongoing expansion at the Alexandra Hospital, an expansion 2.5 times the size of the existing hospital; we purchased new ambulances, ventilators, generators and other critical equipment for our health sector; we deployed CCTV island-wide and constructed a state-of-the-art CCTV Command Center; we built a brand new police and fire station at New Castle.
“We provided the cultural venue, Arthur Freeman Center of Excellence, at Market Shop where we hosted Culturama last year; we purchased several generating sets at NEVLEC to ensure that we all now enjoy better electricity; we provided emergency medical assistance totalling $3.56 million to our people since 2015; we established a $5 million fund to provide seed money to assist youth and women, we serviced our debt; and we provided support to our statutory corporations.”
Other projects include the expansion of the NIA’s affordable housing programme, construction of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) center in Gingerland, rebuilding of the Tender Pier in Charlestown, resurfacing of the runway and upgrading of equipment at the Tower at the Vance Amory International Airport, funding the exploratory phase of the geothermal project with the drilling of test wells at Hamilton, building a brand new Cultural Village and improving the Cultural Complex, construction of the Artisan Village, and undertaking the most ambitious water enhancement project in the history of Nevis incorporating new water mains, new storage tanks and a treatment plant at Hamilton.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, which decimated government revenue, the NIA provided the resources to offer relief on water and electricity and stimulus to businesses and farmers, to increase NIA social safety nets to ensure persons could purchase food and other necessities, and to upgrade and outfit all schools to make them COVID-compliant.
The Premier stated that these and the myriad of other projects and expenditures over the past several years have ensured the advancement of Nevis’ economic development and the improvement of life for citizens and residents.
He emphasized that he will continue to agitate at the highest level for Nevis and Nevisians to get their fair share of the fruits of national resources.