NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 18, 2022) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew says he remains committed to fostering a friendly relationship with the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and establishing closer ties with the people of Nevis.
His comments came during a press conference on October 17, 2022, his first since taking office.
“During the campaign I said that we would work to ensure that the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis is improved. We talked about equity in that relationship and we are very serious when it comes to that. I have met with the Premier of Nevis; we have met at least twice. He would have said a number of things that he considered to be of importance. We have reviewed them; we would have discussed them, and we have worked on a number of those things. We have agreed that we will set up a committee that will review the Constitution and review the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis with the objective of making sure that equity is at its foundation and better relations is the result.”
The Prime Minister noted that these efforts at greater cooperation are already bearing fruit.
“Our government is committed to strengthening relations with our sister island Nevis and ensuring that developments and advancements are fairly distributed throughout the Federation. As a demonstration of this commitment to deeper partnership the Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley and I met with the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) His Excellency Michael Lin who provided a grant to our government for the Pinneys Beach Sustainable Tourism Enhancement Project. This is part of our commitment to enhance capacity of our economic prospects. I also want to add that we have collaborated on geothermal energy, which we as a Federation will face as a project that will benefit both islands, and so we are moving quickly on that.”
He added that he has also met with the Leader of the main opposition party on Nevis, and in addition to inviting Premier Brantley to join his official delegation to the Republic of China (Taiwan) on November 05, 2022, he also extended an invitation to the sole opposition member of the Nevis Island Assembly.
When asked if he would be re-establishing a federal office on Nevis to meet with Nevisians, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said, “The question is would the people of Nevis have direct access to the Prime Minister. I understand and we understand that the Prime Minister’s role is to serve all people, in St. Kitts and in Nevis, and so I will discuss with those on Nevis. Of course we are developing good relationship of the framework and the Federal Office as to how and when. It’s my objective to start as soon as possible to have that direct connection with the people of Nevis and that the people of Nevis know that they have a direct connection with their Prime Minister and the Federal Government. So that will be pursued as well, with consultation.”
The Prime Minister went on to say he is heartened to see persons from St. Kitts in recent times traveling to Nevis and vice versa for business and leisure, treating the islands as one space “as it should be”.
Premier Brantley recently thanked Dr. Drew for the gesture with respect to transferring funds earmarked for the Prime Minister’s Office to fund the second phase of the Pinneys Beach Park Development and Enhancement Project on Nevis.
“…It is demonstrative of the new Prime Minister’s approach to the island of Nevis, and I would like to take this opportunity to commend him. I said to him yesterday when we met privately, that thus far he has done everything that he said he would do in relation to Nevis, and thus far all the assurances that he has given me have in fact borne fruit, and so I would want to thank him publicly. I think that this is to my mind a new era, an era of cooperation, an era of development, and an era of partnership, and I’m very grateful to Prime Minister Dr. Drew for making this possible and for insisting that these sums come to Nevis so that we could start this project,” he said.
Meantime, Prime Minister Dr. Drew and Premier Brantley have put on record their intention to engage each other with the aim of resolving the issue of Nevis getting its fair and equitable share of the revenues derived from the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment program.