The United Kingdom government reportedly is displeased with the progress of repairs in key sections and sectors of the British Virgin Islands.
Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering said UK minister responsible for Overseas Territories Lord Tariq Ahmad had expressed his displeasure when he visited the territory a month ago.
“When he was here, he was very disappointed that there wasn’t much more done with public infrastructure – roads, police, fire, port, the administration building,” said Dr Pickering during the Honestly Speaking radio programme this week.
Dr Pickering, however, noted that the funds were just not available for local government to fix public infrastructure.
That is because the $65 million loan government has borrowed from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has been tied up in procedures aimed at ensuring accountability and transparency in how the funds are spent.
Chairman-elect of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Myron Walwyn recently suggested the duration of these procedures as unreasonable and inconvenient for the BVI.
We must follow the CDB’s way of doing business
But, during a statement on Wednesday, leader of the NDP government, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said his administration is obligated to respect the bank’s policies.
“Anybody who takes loans from the CDB they must follow the CDB’s way of doing business as it thus take a long time. We have been discussing with the CDB the idea of trying to shorten those periods and we’ve continued to discuss that with them but that is one of the reasons why we decide to put the Recovery & Development Agency in place.”
Dr Smith further said he was generally satisfied with the progress of territorial recovery.
“As a territory, we got out there in the early stages and did the emergency repairs and have continued towards full restoration of the territory to be better, greener, and smarter. There was some delays in the private sector particularly because of insurance claims, etcetera. But, as you go long the territory, you’ll notice that many buildings, homes, and businesses are under construction and repair,” he said.
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