Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The staff of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) heard first hand from Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris, his expectations for the management of the program at a recent staff meeting. Dr. Harris is the Minister with responsibility for the citizenship unit.
Prime Minister Harris urged the employees to exhibit the highest standards of vigilance, professionalism, confidentiality, efficiency and customer service and went on to say that the Citizenship by Investment Programme was critical to the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis and the quality of life for the people. Being aware of this, he said, “I urge you to strive for excellence, be professional, be sensitive and provide the highest levels of service to the stakeholders.”
Efforts are ongoing to restructure and reform the programme to ensure transparency, and accountability that will surpass the expectations of the international community and set the program as a model for the industry. PM Harris told the staff, the government has been working well with the governments of Canada, United States and the UK to ensure “our practices are such that we minimize, if not eliminate risk of unsavory actors participating in the programme.”
Answering a question posed by the Government Information Service (SKNIS) Dr. Harris responded, “The mismanagement of the programme by the previous administration could not be undone overnight, we have asked providers and partners in the programme to demonstrate patience and understanding. We will never sacrifice our country or its reputation for the short run gains from the sale of citizenship; that is why our government is working to restructure the program and put it on course to a solid sustainable future.”
Prime Minister Harris expressed it was important to have this meeting, “the staff at the Citizenship by Investment Unit needed to hear from the highest levels of government how critical their work is to St. Kitts and Nevis. Their vigilance is expected, they are gate keepers for us,” he said.