Opposition member Julian Fraser has called on government to bring back educated British Virgin Islanders living abroad to help rebuild the hurricane-ravaged territory.
Speaking Wednesday night at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall on Virgin Gorda, Fraser said it would be less expensive to bring locals back than to hire outsiders.
“We have skilled Virgin Islanders overseas. Bring them back. It is cheaper.”
“And don’t tell me we don’t have them … the government should know where its people are if they care. Every single one of them, especially in these times [when] scholarships are educating our people,” Fraser said.
At the time, he was addressing the gathering about government’s proposed $721 million Recovery and Development Plan.
According to the plan, significant portions of the funds will be used to pay experts in various areas of recovery.
“We are going to rebuild this country smart, take our time, [even] if it means training our people to do the work. What do they say? Give a man a fish, you feed him for the day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for life,” he said.
He reasoned that outsiders will only direct money away from the territory.
“All these people that they are going to bring, they are going to be buying a lot of materials from overseas,” Fraser reasoned.
The opposition member also complained that locals who travel abroad to receive higher education return home, but too often are unable to find work.
CDB ‘insult’ BVI
He also pointed to a document from the Caribbean Development Bank which reportedly said the territory was ‘too small and cannot provide the human capital’ needed for the multimillion dollar-rebuilding needed in the territory.
He described that was an insult.
“This is a bank in Barbados telling us we are small, we don’t have capital. How do they know that? I take affront to it.”
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