Prime Minister Dr. Drew Moves To Strengthen The CBI Programme With Parliamentary Bill, By Making It A Statutory Corporation

Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – In a landmark move on March 26, 2024, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, introduced the Citizenship by Investment Unit Bill, 2024, for its first reading in the National Assembly as part of the Government’s continued efforts to strengthen the Federation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme in line with best international practices.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew.

The Citizenship by Investment Unit Bill, 2024, provides for the establishment of a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) for Saint Christopher and Nevis as a statutory corporation, having perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name. At present, the CIU operates as a department within the Ministry of National Security, Immigration and Citizenship with financial oversight by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“There is a need for the CIU to have independent, professional management operations and high-performing staff. There is a need for the CIU to become a body corporate with an even more robust Board of Governors who report to the minister with responsibility for citizenship,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said while making a statement on the CBI programme in the National Assembly on March 26.

The prime minister highlighted that this step signifies the natural professionalisation evolution for the forty-year-old CBI programme.

Examples of successful application of this model are the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) and the St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA).

Establishing the Citizenship by Investment Unit as a statutory corporation also aligns with one of the recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) outlined in a 2023  joint report on investment migration.

The honourable prime minister noted that the government agrees with the findings of the FATF-OECD report that accountability and oversight measures play a significant role in ensuring the integrity of investment migration programmes.

Dr. Drew continued, “The Bill also allows for the CIU to collect money to manage its own affairs through the relevant administrative fields, while the bulk of the CBI revenue is still paid into the Consolidated Fund for management by the Federal Ministry of Finance. We are not creating some other Fund. The money will go directly into our Treasury through the Consolidated Fund.”

Prime Minister Dr. Drew said his government is of the firm belief that establishing the Citizenship by Investment Unit as a statutory body is the right and sensible approach to take the CBI programme to the next level and ensure its sustainability for posterity.

The Citizenship by Investment Unit Bill, 2024, can be found at Citizens and residents are encouraged to read the Bill before it is debated in the National Assembly in the near future.

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