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NDP’s $65M deal with CDB suspicious

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie

Leader of Opposition Andrew Fahie is accusing the National Democratic Party (NDP) government of making questionable financial deals abroad.

He added that government’s financial dealings are being hidden from the public and from parliamentarians, including government members.

Fahie leveled the claims on Wednesday; days after the House of Assembly approved for government to borrow $65 million from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Only six of 13 parliamentarians (the minimum majority) voted in favour of the loan.

“Most elected members had absolutely no clue about the details of the $65 million loan with CDB nor that it was being negotiated… Present and future generations are now bound by the decision when none of us, to date, know what are the detailed plans of this loan,” said Fahie who claimed that Government approved the deal with the CDB even before bringing it to the House of Assembly.

“I read about the said loan being approved by CDB in a Caribbean online link on the 14th December 2017, while the loan was only passed in the House of Assembly with a bare minimum majority on the 21st December 2017,” Fahie said.

Monitor gov’t

The opposition leader said the $65 million deal between government and CDB is suspicious and needs to be monitored closely.

He further stated that lack of accountability and lack of transparency has become a trend in the NDP government.

Fahie said he now fears the government will continue to gamble taxpayer dollars to strike even more controversial deals.

“We must bring back accountability, transparency and good governance into the day-to-day affairs of government in every respect especially when loan funding is involved. If not, we will continue to have another BVI Airways saga, another Pier Park Project major overrun saga, another saga of spending by government for five-plus years without audited financial statements, another transfer of loan funds unknown to and not approved to be transferred by the House of Assembly like the $8 million dollars that was illegally transferred from the loan funds approved by the House of Assembly for the East End/Long Look sewage project but mysteriously ended up in the Pier Park Project.”

“All these and plenty more unaccountable and highly-questionable financial conduct by this government continues to raise a major red flag in the areas of accountability and transparency. The people of the Virgin Islands must demand more involvement from policymakers before major decisions are made on behalf of the people, especially when it involves sizable loan funds,” Fahie said.

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