That was the assertion of Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry as he delivered his (24) twenty-four minute television and radio New Year’s Address to Nevisians at home and in the Diaspora.
Delivering the address on the opening day of 2013 (Tuesday, Jan. 1), the Premier told Nevisians, “we have made tremendous strides in 6 years. The face of Nevis is changing for the better. We know it. Our visitors and returning nationals express it. Let us thank God for it.”
He challenged his listeners, “as we move into the New Year, let us remember how these things happened and when they happened.”
“We approach the New Year with hope and confidence. We are aware of the challenges and we know what we must do. Today, I present to you an outline of a plan. A plan that is practical, a plan that is already in the early stages of implementation.”
The Nevisian leader who has brought Nevis through its most financially-challenging era, said that in the short term his government proposed: modifying and growing the Re-Insurance Industry, improvements in cruise tourism, development of the Cosmetology Center at New River, construction of new villas in a US $60 million project at the Four Seasons Resort Estates, the $30 million Water Services Project, and construction of the Fisheries Complex and Social Security Building.
In the medium term, he proposed the delivery of the much-sought-after Geo-thermal project. “After several hiccups, the Government is confident that we will take it forward,” the Premier said. He also said in December, EX-IM Bank initiated a call “with me” to confirm its interest. He also promised the delivery of the Fuel Storage Facility at Pembroke Estate, St. John’s.
He said in the third phase of growth, the Government will look to the development and completion of hotels at Indian Castle, Herbert’s Beach and Pinney’s Estate.
Promising that his government will not raise taxes, and will not send home “our people”, Parry said, ”it means therefore we must focus on growth.”
The NRP’s Diversification Strategy is geared towards growing the Nevis economy, ensuring the creation of hundreds of jobs, while improving the quality of life of all Nevisians and residents.
But the Premier warned, “the success of the last 6 years must be secured. Must be consolidated. We can do this only by ensuring continuity in government. We are aware of the unsettling controversies of 2012. Let us put that behind us, however – before we continue the development of Nevis we must attend to some business. We must come to you for a renewed mandate. We ask you to judge us on our performance, judge us on the basis that we care and love our people.”
“For too long we have depended only on the Four Seasons Hotel. It is obvious that the time for change is now. We must delay no longer. What is clear here is that the NRP government has thought out the concept, has held discussions in many forums, have developed the plan and is engaged, and supportive of investors, local and foreign, to implement this plan in the next 5 years.”
He was high in praise for local entrepreneurs Deon Daniel and Greg Hardtman, and other local investors, “for taking the strain,” and for the Four Seasons Resort Estates and potential homeowners who seized the opportunity offered by the SIDF and government for homeownership.
The University of the West Indies (UWI)-trained economist said, “if we speak with confidence,” it is for a litany of reasons, among them:
- we believe we have earned your trust with our performance.
- you have worked with us to reduce crime and ensuring Nevisians are working.
- through community programmes and the construction of strategically-placed community centers we have brought back to our people the sense of ownership and community.
- we in the government ensured that there is one set of rules for all workers at the Four Seasons, and that our own people for the first time are assured serious consideration for training and promotion.
- we have provided training for our nationals at home and abroad.
- we have saved lives through our Cuba and Panama health programmes, despite financial challenges.
- we have upgraded health care services through the delivery of the soon-to-be -commissioned Dialysis Unit and the Urological Center at the Alexandra Hospital.
Firm in the belief that “NRP is best for Nevis” a confident Premier Parry said, “We have little time to waste for there is much work to be done. The Nevis Elections is upon us, and we must do what we have to do in order for Nevis to stay safe in the hands of those who call Nevis home.”
He said in conclusion, “It is with a sense of pride in our beloved Nevis, and especially you the people of Nevis that on behalf of the Cabinet of Nevis, the Government of Nevis, my wife and family, I wish all Nevisians a Happy New Year, and may we together as a people continue the hard work of developing our country in peace and harmony for 2013 and beyond.”