REMARKS BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
HONOURABLE ANDREW A. FAHIE
RECOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY CONTRACTS SIGNING FOR
LITTLE DIX HILL, SLOPE STABILISATION AND ROAD REHABILITATION WORKS,
BOB’S GAS STATION, SLOPE STABILISATION AND ROAD REHABILITATION WORKS
AND REPAIRS TO THE VANTERPOOL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
15th October, 2020
Good day and God’s Blessings to everyone under the sound of my voice.
I am happy to be here once again, moving forward with the recovery of our public infrastructure, since the damages caused by the Hurricanes of 2017.
We are indeed on the move even amid the unforeseen challenges, especially those caused by COVID-19 - The New Regular.
It was just this Tuesday that we were here signing deeds of contribution where the Government of the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom Government partnered on two projects—the Magistrate’s Court phased which is also the project known as the Halls of Justice and the Road Town Police Station to enhance law enforcement capabilities as the BVI move toward becoming more self-sufficient.
I know that I will be repetitive when I say that your Government continues to be pleased that we were able to renegotiate some of the terms in the Caribbean Development Bank’s rehabilitation and reconstruction loan when we took office in 2019.
This was important to make sure the people of this Territory have a stake in the development of this economy.
So here we are today.
So I know that I will sound repetitive when I say that the renegotiation was vital because it could not be just or fair for this money to pass through the BVI’s economy. Your Government could not sit aside and see the BVI businesses and workers pushed to the side and disadvantaged from being able to access the benefits of this cash flow. By successfully renegotiating the terms with the CDB, our BVI workers and businesses can get a vitamin boost from this money.
In the latter part of 2019, we revised the recovery to development plan that was laid on the table of the House of Assembly and was it was passed without any objections. The newly revised plan separates recovery projects from development projects. The recovery matters were assigned to the RDA in order to allow more focus to take place.
It is important to reiterate that the RDA, since it has gotten a better focus that we are moving strategically forward.
I thank the RDA for doing its part and continuing to move projects forward and not allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the greater good.
Also thanking the Acting CEO Mr. McMaster for the work that he and his team is doing and for the update on the projects that the RDA is working on and will be working on and I am reminding him that in the next update please do not forget the West End Ferry Terminal project.
As one of its agencies, the RDA is indeed making the Premier’s Office, its parent Ministry extremely proud.
With $40M to be injected into this economy, your Government promised that we would be delivering 20 recovery projects for our people, with the RDA's support, using the CDB rehabilitation and reconstruction loan, as we are moving.
And the RDA has risen to the challenge and is indeed moving forward. I thank the team for progressing with timelines and delivering on the recovery priorities in close partnership with each ministry, department, and statutory body on behalf of the people of this Territory.
I thank the Cabinet, members of my Government, Members of the House of Assembly, Ministry of Finance, and all the public officers who played a role in advancing this process to make sure this gets done.
I also thank the people of the Virgin Islands for their patience, seeing that all these projects your Government is now undertaking through the RDA, long overdue since 2017, are now move swiftly from the talking phase to the action phase.
Of course we must thank God for His grace and mercy on these our Virgin Islands as He continue to guide us in a positive direction forward.
This is a Government working for its people.
Today we are here to move forward with three initiatives:
1. We have the Little Dix Hill slope stabilisation, and road rehabilitation works project. I congratulate the Caribbean Environmental Restoration LTD for securing the contract to the tune of $407,105.60. Safe roads are our number one of our main priories as a Government , and we look forward to the demolition of the existing section of asphalt, construction and reinforced concrete pavement, and installation of guard rails. I say congratulations to the contractor.
2. We have the stabilisation and road rehabilitation works of the Bob’s Gas Station slope. This contract also awarded to the Caribbean Environmental Restoration Ltd to the tune of $494,308.10. Again we want to ensure that our people and our roads remain safe. And again, I say congratulations to you sir.
3. Then we have the repairs to the Vanterpool Administration Building on Virgin Gorda that will be carried out by Metro Construction Limited in the amount of $1,410,670.79. And I congratulate you Sir on your company being awarded this project.
I look forward to the completion of this project so that public officers can work and provide their valuable customers with a safe place to do business. The project calls for the rehabilitation of the three-story administration building. I look forward to seeing the rehabilitation works moving forward swiftly where the contractor will ensure the redesign and new office location for the DMV office, improve security elements in the main lobby, improvements to the inland revenue office, refurbishment of the Immigration Department and the Labour Department office space, reconfigure the Passport Office space, repairs to damages to the interior and exterior walls, ceilings, etc., and installation of hurricane shutters and refurbish restrooms.
As we heard with this the Representative for the Ninth District expressed his gratulate. The projects before the Representative for the Eighth District and Leader of the Opposition expressed his gratitude and I too also want to bring apologies for Honourable Alvera Maduro Canies, but she also expressed her gratitude for the project.
As we have seen and have heard from the CEO of the RDA that we are doing projects in just above every district and we ensure that every single representative is invited for the signing ceremonies and even ground breakings because this is a Government of inclusion.
We have a lot of work to do, but we have to do it together, and together with BVILOVE.
All projects, I want to make it clear to the public, that all projects were tendered and awarded through a transparent and accountable process. However, to ensure that the local contractors are the ones who will be given the opportunity to bid on these projects, that was the work of your Government.
So we cannot guarantee if you are a contractor in District Nine that you will get the work in District Nine, but what we guaranteed with the CDB loan fund is that once you are a BVI company that you will be the one to get the opportunity to do the work. For that I thank my colleagues for their support in this endeavor because we the people of the Virgin Islands must benefit from the economic boost from these projects.
Our greatest asset is our people and we have to build our people.
This is your Government working for you the people.
The public has put this government in place to make decisions that are in their best interest. There are a lot of tough decisions to make especially in these challenging times.
This Government is not afraid to make them because taking care of the people is not about popularity. It is about the long-term prosperity of these islands and fulfilling purpose through our actions when these projects are finished and the RDA that his working under the Premier’s Office.
When all of this is finished and is said and done we would have ensured that we strengthened the capacity of our people, increased the capacity of our people and strengthen and increased the capacity of our contractors as they not only work in the BVI, but anywhere in the world.
This is a Government working for its people.
And we must ensure that we continue this same trend even in job opportunities in the public sector and private sector. We know that we will need some help from the outside to help build our Territory, but we cannot build the Territory without its people and that is the mantra of this Government. We will do it together, on the road towards being more self –reliance.
So, I continue to say that we’re all in this together, not just as a cliché but through actions like these and we are indeed moving forward in BVILOVE.
And again I want to say congratulations to the contractors. It does my heart proud when I see our people moving forward step by step, stronger and stronger, when we see that the organisation that we have produced has even taken a further step in making sure that we have the intern of our young people, because our youth are our future. This is when you are moving forward in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands and this is what it is about so that generations through generations will be able to say thank God for the generation that went before them and the generation present must make sure that we continue to strengthen the foundations so that the generations after us will thank God that we did what we had to do. To not only help the BVI to be strong, but the people of the BVI and those who live among us.
So may God bless these beautiful Virgin Islands. May God bless these projects, and may He continue to watch over the Virgin Islands people.
Thank you and God’s Blessings.