NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 06, 2023)- As the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) continues to pursue Nevis’ fair share of national resources, chiefly revenues from the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment program, Premier Hon. Mark Brantley has expressed appreciation for the mature and open communications he maintains with Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew on the issue.
“I had discussed with the Prime Minister a six-person Committee. We have nominated our members to that committee to look at this whole issue of ‘fair share’, which was a big issue in the last election. I have been fairly consistent in following up with the Prime Minister and to his credit he has been fairly consistent in updating me. I know he was awaiting some data from some international organisations…I anticipate that I’ll be meeting with the Honourable Prime Minister shortly and this is one of the items on the agenda for us to make a determination as to where we are going,” the Premier updated the public on June 29 at his monthly press conference.
The Premier emphasized that Nevis is entitled to an equitable share of the CBI revenue, a stance he has not wavered on. He reminded that leaders of the Team Unity-led Administration had agreed the revenue would be fairly apportioned on a pro rata basis, a viewpoint he still holds.
“We want to be fair. We want an open transparent process of sharing the resources of the country. In fact what we had proposed during the Team Unity era was a pretty fair way because we said let us base it on population. What the problem we had was that we were getting 500 [million] and 600 million dollars coming into the country and Nevis was getting 40 [million] or 50 million [dollars] and St. Kitts was getting the balance.
“When we did the analysis of the revenue stream over the course of the life of the program recall that our analysis suggested that Nevis only got seven percent of the revenue from CBI while St. Kitts got 93 percent and those numbers were never refuted even at the height of political back and forth. So for us it’s can we have a transparent mechanism that every national in the country, every government can understand.”
Premier Brantley said with a transparent process where the CBI receipts were no longer concealed, as was the practice of the former Minister of Finance, the NIA would be in a better position to forecast this revenue and how best it should be spent to develop the island of Nevis.
“I credit the new Prime Minister because in my humble opinion thus far he has been far more open than the prime minister I sat in the Cabinet with and engaged with on a weekly basis, because he was very adept at hiding information, particularly financial information.
“Will we be better off; will we be worse off? Well I think we are already better off because there is a level of openness, there’s a level of mutual respect, there’s a level of dialogue that never existed. We are now moving on with new ideas, new energy and hopefully building a new country and a new relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Premier Brantley and Prime Minister Dr. Drew have had a number of productive engagements since the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party took office in August 2015. Both leaders have stated that these interactions have led to a greater level of cooperation and cordiality between the Federal government and the Nevis Island Administration.