Federal Government, NIA improving relations

PM Dr.Harris

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The close collaboration and partnership forged between the Federal Government in St. Kitts and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the sister isle since 2015, are counted among the top achievements of the Government of National Unity.

“We are a government which represents fully, now, the people on the island of Nevis,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said during an appearance on the “Straight Talk” radio programme on Aug. 13. Dr. Harris cited the improved relationship.

The inclusion of two members of the Federal Parliament from Nevis, namely Honourable Vance Amory and Honourable Mark Brantley, in the Cabinet of Dr. Harris was cited as one of the main reasons for the greater cooperation that has become a mainstay in the work agenda.

“That has come because we set out a platform for cooperation with the people of Nevis that included providing them … with support to assist them with their budgetary requirements as determined by the elected representative,” Dr. Harris stated.

Honourable Amory serves in the Cabinet as a Senior Minister and Minister of Nevis Affairs, Labour, Social Security, and Ecclesiastical Affairs. He joined the Cabinet in 2015 while serving as the Premier of Nevis, a post he held until December 2017. Honourable Brantley serves in the Cabinet as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and was elected by the people of Nevis last year to lead the NIA, succeeding Honourable Amory.

Access to funds from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) was also opened up and representation from Nevis was added to the governing board. The prime minister, who also holds the portfolio for Finance, said this was done to ensure that fair representation was given when projects go before the board for consideration.

Some of the more outstanding projects in Nevis that have received support from federal funds include the completion of Phase 1 in March 2018 of the Long Point sporting facility. This included laying an all-weather 400-meter Mondo track, with seating accommodations, and washroom facilities. The cost was approximately $12 million. A new docking facility is being constructed in Oualie to upgrade the water taxi service. The project began late last year and is expected to cost $6 million. Also included is the renovation of the Alexandra Hospital and construction of a diagnostic wing at the island’s premiere health facility, which began in May 2017. The estimated price tag is approximately $19 million.

“All of them have had the excellent support of the federal government and by extension the federal entities in this regard, the SIDF,” Prime Minister Harris said.