Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 01, 2017 (SKNIS): The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has received more than $50 million in budgetary support from the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis as part of its commitment to enhance the working relationship between the two islands and to ensure a more equitable disbursement of resources.
The funds have been used to facilitate a number of developmental projects in agriculture, tourism, education and public infrastructure.
“We have attempted to bring oneness and to bring an end to the acrimony and to bring equity in the relationship between the federal entity and the Nevis Island Administration,” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said on Wednesday (February 01), during his monthly press conference at Government Headquarters.
Dr. Harris said that such budgetary arrangements are not unusual, citing his past experience while living in Trinidad and Tobago. “In every budget of the federal government, there is always a subvention, a provision for support to the Tobago Island Assembly,” he revealed. This is evident in excerpts from the Republic’s Budget Statement of 2017 presented on September 30, 2016, by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Colm Imbert, which had an allocation of TT$2.354 billion for the Tobago House of Assembly. The figure is close to one billion in Eastern Caribbean Dollars.
In addition to the $50 million for Nevis, Prime Minister Harris added that funding for eleven projects on the sister-island has also been provided by the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). That figure is reportedly more than $14 million.
Another important facet of greater cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis is the opportunity for more Nevisian professionals to serve their country.
“We appointed several ambassadors like Dr. Everson Hull at the OAS [Organisation of American States] in Washington D.C., Elsa Ambrister, [Deputy Consul General] at our office in Dubai and other functionaries from the island of Nevis are serving creditably at the federal level.” Prime Minister Harris stated.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader consistently hails the spirit of cooperation and commitment to public service displayed by the Premier of Nevis, Honourable Vance Amory, who also currently serves as a Senior Minister and Minister of Nevis Affairs, Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs in the federal government.