Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 2, 2017 (SKNIS): Members of the Team Unity Administration are proud of their stellar performance in government over the past two years and are “very satisfied that the government has kept the faith in our people.”
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, speaking at his monthly press conference on February 1, 2017, said, “We have remained wedded as a Team and our beloved country has benefitted,” while revealing that 50 plus promises have been delivered to the people of the federation.
While time did not permit Dr. Harris to list all of the achievements of his administration, he spoke to some that have significantly impacted the lives of the citizenry of the federation. Among these was the vast improvement to the health care sector.
For the first time in history “MRIs are available on St Kitts.” According to the federation’s prime minister, this has resulted in “significant savings to those in need of this service, which hitherto they had to undertake abroad at considerable cost and inconvenience.” he further said that, “426 persons right here in St Kitts between April to December, 2016 received diagnosis.”
Other remarkable strides taken in the health care sector include a brand new Mental Health Day Care Centre and the first Oncology Centre on St. Kitts. According to Prime Minister Harris, “three patients have already been treated with chemotherapy.”
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operators have also benefited from the policies of the Government of National Unity. In fact, at Wednesday’s press conference, Dr. Harris revealed that “So far, 427 applicants have been successful,” and he further publicized that $28.5 million collectively from the Fresh Start Programme has been already paid out. This programme, evidence of the government’s “strong faith in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs),” was introduced with “an initial injection of EC$16 million from the Government of Venezuela, plus $5 million. Some $21 million was disbursed by the programme by the end of 2016 and the sum of $35.4 million is pledged for 2017.”
According to Prime Minister Harris, his Team Unity Administration has also done well in the area of transparency and accountability. He noted that regular press conferences, the “Working for You” radio and television programme and regular sittings of Cabinet and Parliament give credence to his government’s belief that government has an obligation to share information with citizens.
Strengthening the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis remains high on the government’s agenda as well. “We have kept faith with the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the people of Nevis,” said Dr. Harris, who indicated that there has been “$50 million in budgetary support to the NIA versus none before.”
Dr. Harris revealed that, “Beyond this, 11 NIA projects are approved by the SIDF totaling $14.14 million. More Nevisians are now on Federal Boards; appointed Ambassadors: Dr. Everson Hull, Mrs. Elsa Armbrister and other government appointments such as Ms. Lorna Hunkins, as Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All these were achieved without rancor or attention.”
Prime Minister Harris also mentioned the settlement of the Basseterre High School (BHS) problem by constructing a temporary school that has brought the students together again, payment of outstanding gratuities to former sugar workers, that saw 2003 former sugar workers or their beneficiaries being paid a total $13,050,508.00, removal of VAT on food, medicine, educational supplies, and funeral expenses actioned by SR&O 12 of 2015, upgrades of sporting facilities in Warner Park, Kim Collins Stadium, Boyd’s Village, Sandy Point, Cayon, and Mansion, with more work to be undertaken in Constituencies 7, 4 and Basseterre, and the complete revamp of the CBI programme, while it remains a PLATINUM brand.
The Government is set to launch its “STEP Programme” on February 16 and its Housing Ground Breaking Ceremony on February 17 during a Week of Activities to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Government of Nation Unity.