St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); The Opposition Nevis Reformation Party is charging that the Concerned Citizen Movement government has only recently started a number of projects on the island because the Nevis Island Assembly election is due in several months.
In the years prior they claim, economic activity on Nevis was dead.
Deputy Premier Mark Brantley admits that the CCM-led Nevis Island Administration did not roll out as many projects and initiatives as it would have liked since taking office in January 2013. He said however that this was due to the antagonistic actions of the Labour Party-led federal government.
“Well that’s obvious nonsense; a government is elected for a 5 year term and we’ve always been seeking to roll out our agenda.
“Let us however not forget that for two years, 2013 to 2015 this government was being strangled by the government in Basseterre. Our cheques were being bounced; we could not borrow from our main banker, the National Bank, which as we know is federal government-controlled bank. We had tremendous difficulties financially, so the option of doing large-scale capital projects was simply not there.
“It is the alleviation of that situation and the new relationship with the federal government ushered in by the Team Unity administration in 2015 that really unleashed the full potential, and allowed us to proceed with much of the plans that we had.”
The Deputy Premier told WINN FM that since the Team Unity coalition took office, with CCM occupying two of its seven federal seats, the Nevis government has been able to implement several large scale projects, including infrastructural works and the construction of government housing. He also pointed out a number of projects that were undertaken prior to the normalization of relations between the federal government and the NIA.
“For example the Mondo track, the upgrades at our airport, where we’ve started [work on] our hospital, the proposed pier at Oualie and we’ve looked at other projects that have been initiated on this island, have all been as a direct result of our access now to the SIDF, from which we had hitherto been excluded, and even, let me add, under NRP we were excluded.
“So the truth of the matter is that we cannot execute projects without being able to pay for them, and the ability to pay for them, to have those financial strictures removed from the NIA really and truly came about after we changed this government and removed the stumbling block that we had at Church Street.”
“So we have now been able to move forward with our plans; that is not to say we have not been executing even before then. For example Hanley’s road – a major, major infrastructural project that was done by us…and we are now doing other roads. We finished the Hamilton Road even before 2015 .
“So the truth is it’s really a bit mischievous to suggest only now things are happening; but I would say that even if that were the case, we have five years, we are within the five years, and we are doing the people’s work.”