PM: Local entities capable of financing major development projects
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris said each and every Kittitian and Nevisian should feel a sense of pride and comfort in knowing that entities right here in St. Kitts and Nevis are capable of financing major developmental projects, such as the construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante.
The construction of the second pier is being financed under a syndicate arrangement among four local entities to the tune of US$48 million. The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (SKNANB) has committed US$34 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board has pledged US$7 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) injected US$5 million and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company (TDC) added another US$2 million.
A public loan signing ceremony with all four entities was held at Port Zante Cruise Terminal on Monday afternoon. Speaking at that signing ceremony, Prime Minister Harris said “who would have thought that on this particular day we would have found in St. Kitts and Nevis the resources among home-grown indigenous institutions to come forward and be able to provide the financing to allow the largest public sector expenditure ever to happen in a while to take place today at a cost of nigh $135 million. This is what nation building must be, that within we can find and mobilize resources efficiently, so that our development agenda must never be strangled; our development agenda must always be in the hands of Kittitians and Nevisians to determine whether we go forward or we pause. And when we are able to look within rather than without for the resources, we know that we are on solid standing as a country.”
With more than one million cruise passengers expected to visit St. Kitts and Nevis during the 2017-2018 season, Harris noted “with that kind of geometric growth in the sector…you can’t argue against the necessity for the second cruise pier. Indeed that pier had long been in demand, but some people didn’t know how to get it done. Team Unity knows how to get it done, but more than that. get it done rightly.”
The prime contractor for this historic project is the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). The mobilization of the construction phase of the second cruise pier is set to commence in March, with the project expected to be completed within 18 months, in time for the 2019 cruise season.