Governor Augustus Jaspert has signed a $450,000 Deed of Contribution agreement with the Recovery & Development Agency (RDA) that will assist with the rehabilitation works to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Marine Base.
The initiative stems from a $1.2 million partnership between the United Kingdom government and the BVI government.
During the signing ceremony on Friday, Governor Jaspert said he believes the project is critical to the success of the British Virgin Islands.
“For me, this is really important about how we protect those who protect us — those who protect the territory to ensure they have adequate facilities but also facilities that are built back even better, built back stronger, built back more capable, built back with better equipment, build back in a way that better secures our territory,” the governor said.
He added: “Security is part of the success of the territory. If somewhere isn’t safe, you don’t get anything else. You don’t get a thriving economy, you don’t get revenues coming in if people don’t feel safe and secure or if people feel the easier way to make money is through operations that may not be those that are honest, integral and contribute legitimately to the economy.”
Modernised marine base
Governor Jaspert also briefly outlined some of the key rehabilitation works expected for the marine base that was heavily damaged by the hurricanes of 2017.
“The marine base will be repaired, it will be modernised, it will be an upgraded building and it will be used as a center for operations and a planning facility. It will be kitted out with modernised equipment with better security, with more space to secure boats and dormitories that allow a 24/7 operation for those officers out and about on the water,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the RDA Anthony McMaster, publicly thanked Governor Jaspert and the UK for their contributions to the rehabilitation of the territory following the territory’s destruction in 2017.
Hopes successor follows path
McMaster further said he hopes the incoming governor, John Rankin continues on the path of Governor Jaspert by maintaining the UK-BVI partnership and seeking funding where necessary to continue the territory’s recovery efforts.
“This is by far a continued relationship that I think all of us are very proud of and if I maybe so bold to say, I will hope that your replacement would be so committed as you have been towards the rebuilding of this territory,” he said.
Governor Rankin is expected to enter the territory in January 2021.
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